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Beijing Eyes Commercialization of Self-Driving Technology with Demonstration Zone Plan

By Ding Yi / Sep 14, 2020 04:16 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Beijing plans to build what it calls the world’s first high-level autonomous driving demonstration zone in the hope of accelerating the commercial application of self-driving technology, according to a report by state television broadcaster CCTV.

That was the message delivered by Kong Lei, the deputy head of the administrative committee of Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, during a press conference held in Beijing on Friday.

The demonstration zone will feature a powerful self-driving infrastructure network consisting of a low-latency telecoms system, an accurate obstacle perception system, a high-accuracy positioning system as well as a cloud-based transport network control platform, which are needed for testing the large-scale operation of driverless vehicles featuring Level 4 autonomy and the application of the internet of vehicles, the report said, without providing a specific date for the project’s completion.

The U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) categorizes autonomous driving technology into six levels from 0 to 5. Level 4 technology allows a car to run almost completely independent of human intervention.

Beijing is among the few Chinese cities that allow companies to test their passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles. Last week, the Chinese capital approved Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi service in designated residential and business areas that cover 100 pickup and drop-off stations, becoming the third city after Changsha and Cangzhou to be used by Baidu to pilot its autonomous taxis.

According to a development plan released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China aims to achieve mass production of self-driving vehicles featuring Level 3 technology by 2025 as part of efforts to build a new-generation transport network control system .

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Baidu Expands Free Robotaxi Trial Service to Northern City of Cangzhou


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