Con­nected car in­dus­try gain­ing mo­men­tum

Wuxi self-driv­ing ve­hi­cle test base set to play key role in tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SHI JING in Wuxi, Jiangsu shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

While China is a global leader in the in­ter­net of things in­dus­try, Wuxi in East China’s Jiangsu prov­ince has over­taken its peers in the de­vel­op­ment of con­nected cars.

Dur­ing a fo­rum for in­tel­li­gent trans­porta­tion and the in­ter­net of ve­hi­cles in­dus­try held in Wuxi on Fri­day, the na­tional in­tel­li­gent trans­porta­tion com­pre­hen­sive test­ing base, lo­cated in the south­west part of the city, an­nounced plans to start pub­lic road test­ing of au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles.

The base, which was jointly estab­lished by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity and the local gov­ern­ment of Jiangsu prov­ince, is the first and only one of its kind ini­ti­ated by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity so far.

Un­veiled in Au­gust last year, the test­ing base will cover more than 138,600 square me­ters upon com­ple­tion at the end of 2019. The closed road for test­ing will be 3.53 kilo­me­ters and at least 150 dif­fer­ent driv­ing sce­nar­ios are in­cluded in the test­ing base. The to­tal in­vest­ment is about 1 bil­lion yuan ($146 mil­lion).

Xi Lu­biao, deputy di­rec­tor of Trans­porta­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, said that the test­ing base has opened some neigh­bor­ing roads with low traf­fic lev­els for third-party tests of au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles.

“The base will play an im­por­tant role in the de­vel­op­ment of China’s in­ter­net of ve­hi­cles in­dus­try, ad­dress­ing the key prob­lems such as driv­ing se­cu­rity, ac­ci­dent li­a­bil­ity, in­ter­net se­cu­rity, dig­i­tal iden­tity man­age­ment and pub­lic road test­ing for au­ton­o­mous cars,” he said.

Also at the fo­rum on Fri­day, in­dus­try lead­ers SAIC Mo­tor Corp Ltd based in Shang­hai and Audi China were granted test­ing licenses for their au­ton­o­mous cars. Ac­cord­ing to Audi China, it will set up a cen­ter in Wuxi in the first quar­ter next year to con­duct re­search and de­vel­op­ment as well as test­ing. There will be about 150 em­ploy­ees work­ing at the cen­ter in the fu­ture.

Alexan­der Pesch, di­rec­tor of au­to­matic driv­ing and chas­sis R&D at Audi China, said that im­prove­ments have been made in terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween ve­hi­cles, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween cars and in­fra­struc­ture in China. These have made it pos­si­ble for Audi to pro­vide au­ton­o­mous tech­nol­ogy in the coun­try.

The world’s three lead­ing lux­ury car­mak­ers — Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi — have all ob­tained test­ing licenses for au­ton­o­mous cars in China. The mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment of Shang­hai granted a li­cense to BMW in May and Bei­jing granted a li­cense to Mercedes-Benz’s par­ent com­pany Daim­ler AG in July.

Maxime Fla­ment, chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer of 5G Au­to­mo­tive Association, said that China now takes the lead world­wide in terms of the de­vel­op­ment of cel­lu­lar ve­hi­cle-to-ev­ery­thing tech­nol­ogy (C-V2X), which is the tech­no­log­i­cal con­cept for ve­hi­cle con­nec­tiv­ity. He pre­dicted that China will re­al­ize the ap­pli­ca­tion of C-V2X by 2020.

As such, Fla­ment said co­op­er­a­tion with Chi­nese com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tions is cru­cial as they are ad­vised to ap­ply for tests at the test­ing bases in China so that there will be more global agree­ments reached.

A re­cent re­port from mar­ket con­sul­tancy IDC pre­dicted that China will be­come the world’s largest in­ter­net of things mar­ket by 2022, with the an­nual in­ter­net of things ex­pen­di­ture amount­ing to $300 bil­lion. In­ter­net of ve­hi­cles will reg­is­ter the most rapid growth be­tween 2017 and 2022 in China, with the com­pound an­nual growth rate com­ing at 42.8 per­cent.

MA QIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles take part in road tests in Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince.

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