Chinese autonomous vehicle (AV) startups, AutoX and Pony.ai, are joining an exclusive group of companies approved to offer self-driving rides to the public in California after receiving approvals from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Tuesday.

The certificate, which expires on June 18, 2022, means the companies are approved to transport people in driverless vehicles for testing over the public highways in the state over the next three years under the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot.

Vehicles must have a trained test driver behind the wheel ready to take over, charge no fees, and provide regulators with quarterly reports for each AV operating in the program.

AutoX said that it was the first carrier to offer robotaxi pilot service to residents in California in a press release sent to TechNode on Thursday.

Around 10 Level 4 driverless vehicles will be introduced through a mobile application in some areas of north San Jose and Santa Clara cities.

Pony.ai was not immediately available for comment and so far has been quiet on whether it will roll out the service, reported Chinese media.

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