Shanghai Issues China’s First Test Permits for Autonomous Driving
Shanghai issues China’s first permit to conduct operational tests of smart and connected vehicles aiming to speed up the commercialization of Autonomous Driving. At the 2019 World Autonomous Vehicle Ecosystem Conference, the permits were issued to Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Group, German premium carmaker BMW AG.
The permit holders are authorized to have a fleet up to 50 vehicles to conduct an operational test in the city, thus enhancing the ways to commercialize the latest technologies. The new permits accelerate autonomous driving tests and thus provides a transition from research and development to application and demonstration.
If the testing fleet can avoid any traffic violation or unlawful issues, the permit holders have the liberty to escalate the number of vehicles after six months. This is based on the rules and regulations incorporated by the city on smart and connected vehicles. Shanghai has already opened up its first road section to test smart and connected vehicles in March 2018. The roads are built with a combination of the length of 53.6 kilometers that covered 1,580 different scenarios. Already 11 companies have received the approval from the authorities of the city.
In this context, the German carmaker recently opined, “BMW Group’s automated driving R&D in China has become an important part of autonomous driving development worldwide”. And therefore, BMW has also devised autonomous driving R&D teams in both Shanghai and Beijing that combines more than 100 engineers. These engineers work towards validating the automated driving function based on the traffic scenarios in China.
The largest carmaker of China, SAIC have revealed its third-generation vehicle that has the potential of Level 4 autonomous driving. The company has also decided to partner with Huawei and China Mobile on the first 5G-based smart transportation program in the world.
Shanghai has also formed an accord with eastern Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui provinces to issue the first regional permits for vehicle tests to Zhejiang-based automaker Geely and AV startup AllRide.ai, which is headquartered in the Nanjing Municipality. The positive move is expected to curtail the amount of red tape and also save costs for industry players to bolster regional economic development.