In­ter­net, auto ty­coons seek stan­dards for self-driv­ing cars

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

China should set tech­nol­ogy stan­dards to reg­u­late self-driv­ing cars, two In­ter­net and au­to­mo­bile gu­rus told an an­nual gath­er­ing of the coun­try's top political ad­vi­sory body on Thurs­day.

"Most of the ex­ist­ing laws and reg­u­la­tions do not fit the de­vel­op­ment of self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles," said Robin Li, a mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple's Political Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence and CEO of In­ter­net gi­ant Baidu.

In his pro­posal for the up­com­ing an­nual ses­sion of the CPPCC, the 47year-old said a lot of reg­u­la­tions and in­dus­try stan­dards are needed to fill the void, and the au­thor­i­ties should lead the pro­ject.

Also sub­mit­ting a sim­i­lar pro­posal was auto ty­coon Li Shufu, chair­man of Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ing Group. "We need to move fast to set up a le­gal frame­work," he said in his pro­posal. "The self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy brings chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties to the Chi­nese auto in­dus­try."

Baidu's Li agreed. The cen­tral govern­ment needs to draw a road map for self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy, pro­vide more fi­nan­cial sup­port and en­cour­age Chi­nese au­tomak­ers and In­ter­net com­pa­nies to build joint re­search and de­vel­op­ment projects.

Baidu tested its self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy in late 2015 and is plan­ning to put driver­less cars on the road in the next three years.

Us­ing an au­to­matic steer­ing sys­tem and a num­ber of sen­sors at­tached to the ve­hi­cle, the car can de­tect ob­sta­cles and travel as fast as 100 kilo­me­ters per hour.

Both Baidu and Geely face com­pe­ti­tion from over­seas tech gi­ants, in­clud­ing Google, Tesla and Daim­ler in the self-driv­ing mar­ket.

Af­ter years of in­vest­ment from global tech gi­ants such as Baidu and Google, the tech­nol­ogy is al­most ready, ac­cord­ing to Shen Haibin, an an­a­lyst from Bei­jing-based in­vest­ment bank China Galaxy Se­cu­ri­ties.

"An auto-pi­lot­ing car com­bines a long list of ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies that cover nav­i­ga­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, high-ac­cu­racy po­si­tion­ing and more," Shen said. "The in­dus­try is set to en­joy a bright fu­ture."

The Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, an in­dus­try watch­dog, is tak­ing steps to draw up na­tional stan­dards for the emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy, which ties cars to the mo­bile In­ter­net.

Min­is­ter Miao Wei said last year that the govern­ment is care­fully study­ing new trends in the self-driv­ing sec­tor and will come up with reg­u­la­tions and poli­cies.

"An er­ror of a mil­lime­ter could cause dis­as­trous con­se­quences in this area," Miao said. "We have to be ex­tremely care­ful." Roughly 20 mil­lion fully self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles are ex­pected to hit the road world­wide by 2025, with con­sumer adop­tion set to take off in 2021, ac­cord­ing to Ju­niper Re­search, a con­sul­tancy in the United King­dom.

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