Shanghai to expand AV test facilities
The Shanghai government has unveiled plans to expand the city’s contribution to the autonomous driving sector by opening up more of its roads for tests.
The Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology said on May 17 that the city will soon extend the length of road available for testing such vehicles to 12 kilometers, from 5.6 km currently. It said the move will support wider testing of more scenarios.
The commission made the announcement at an international forum held in Shanghai on the risks of public road tests of autonomous vehicles.
A new set of road signs will be used in the testing area, which will be the first set of its kind in the country.
The Shanghai Transportation Commission said at the forum that the city is considering opening up more roads because the technology is becoming mature and risks are under control.
A road in southeast Shanghai’s Lingang area is currently under construction for the tests.
Shanghai released regulations on selfdriving vehicle road tests on March 1. By obtaining a license issued by the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Information Technology, the Shanghai Transportation Commission and the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, automakers can test their self-driving cars in the designated area in north Shanghai’s Jiading district.
To date, Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup Nio and BMW have all received licenses.
Lu Zufang, a Jiading district official, said the National Intelligent Connected Vehicles (Shanghai) Pilot Zone in Jiading has created 200 scenarios for various driving situations.
The central government has also been advancing the development of autonomous cars. In April, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released regulations for road tests of smart connected vehicles.
The National Development and Reform Commission wrote in guidelines released in January that China will grow into a global leader in production of smart cars by 2035. The mass production of intelligent cars is targeted for 2020.
Market research company IDC predicted in a report released earlier this year that 30 percent of local governments in China will publish detailed rules and regulations regarding such road tests by 2020. If so, self-driving cars will go into mass production and use across the country up to 18 months earlier than current estimates.
Global market consultancy Roland Berger wrote in a recent report that China is accelerating related activities to take the lead in autonomous driving, with a strong push for electrified vehicles and ongoing urban traffic optimization.
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