Testing facility for self-driving vehicles opens in China

Source: Industrial IoT 5G 

China has opened its first testing facility for connected and self-driving vehicles, a step for the country to position itself as a leader in the autonomous driving car race.

China’s 2025 roadmap has made connected and self-driving vehicles a key  priority. As a step in that direction, China has now opened its first national test site for intelligent connected cars in Shanghai. Going under the name ”The National Intelligent Connected Vehicle Testing Demonstration Base”, the facility aims to facilitate research and development, standards studies and policy formulation, as well as testing and certifying connected vehicle technology in China. By the end of the year, up to 1,000 cars are expected to have been tested at the facility, the Shanghai Daily reports.

To start with, test cars will be able to go through 29 different testing programs that stimulate complex driving scenarios, ranging from vehicle collision alert to brake alert and pedestrian crossing alert. By the end of 2017, the number of testing programs is expected to reach 100. In the meantime, the facility will grow in size, from 5 square kilometers today to 27 square kilometers in September and 100 square kilometers in three to five years, the China Daily reports. “The development of intelligent connected vehicles in the United States, Europe and Japan is mainly pushed by their governments. The Chinese government will set up a good environment for the development and rapid application of intelligent connected vehicles,” said Rong Wenwei, general manager of Shanghai International Automobile City, which developed the testing facility.

The centre organized its inaugural self-driving car demonstration last week, with 25 self-driving vehicles including Ford Transit, Chang’an CS75, Volvo XC90, Cadillac ATS-L, Roewe e50, Volkswagen Golf and Range Rover Evoque driving in the 5 square kilometer area.

This new self-driving research and development initiative is set to culminate with the launch of a real demonstration city in Shanghai by 2020. At that stage, 10,000 self-driving cars are expected to have been tested on 500-kilometer long roads. Prior to that, a first testing phase will be conducted in the Jiading Auto Expo Park and Tongji University Jiading Campus, followed by open road testing and finally an extension of the experimental area from 2018 to the end of 2019 which will see the deployment of 5,000 self-driving vehicles in the 100 square kilometer area including highways.

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Chelsea Collier