Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup’s automobile unit VinFast has received a permit to test autonomous vehicles by the California Vehicle Administration, per an announcement.
Vingroup said that its car manufacturing subsidiary is the 57th licenced company to test its autonomous electric cars in California, following global giants such as Apple, Tesla, BMW, and Volkswagen.
In January, the Vietnamese automaker launched its first three self-driving electric SUV models, VF31, 32 and 33, which it claims uses AI as well as other smart features. The VF31 is slated for commercial sales in November 2021, while the other two will be handed over from February 2022. VF32 and VF33 will also be sold in the US, Canada, and Europe, the company said in a Tuesday statement.
VinFast has also established an R&D centre in the US, the parent firm added. Vingroup owns such facilities in Australia and Germany as well as a vehicle testing centre in Australia.
The Vietnamese behemoth is even considering setting up a factory in the US following the autonomous vehicle test permit, per a Bloomberg report.
Vingroup began life in Vietnam in the early 2000s as a real estate developer. It forayed into hospitals and schools in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The $15.9-billion Hanoi-based company later incepted VinFast in 2017, and technology unit VinTech and smartphone business VinSmart in 2018.