The southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen Monday started allowing fully autonomous vehicles to run on certain roads as a local regulation on smart and internet-connected vehicles went into effect.

It stipulates that fully autonomous automobiles without drivers can run on roads in areas designated by the local traffic management department.

The regulation also sets rules for liability in car accidents that involve autonomous vehicles with or without drivers.

On Monday, Shenzhen-based autonomous driving start-up DeepRoute.ai conducted road testing in downtown Shenzhen. One driverless car of the company finished a trip of 9.6 km in about half an hour.

Maxwell Zhou, chief executive officer of DeepRoute.ai, said the new regulation would help autonomous driving companies improve their technology levels and accelerate the commercialization of autonomous driving.

The company has further optimized the algorithm and redeployed the security strategy for road testing, Zhou said.

Originally published by Xinhua