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Driverless vehicles to test on highway
Published on: 2021-01-14
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China plans to allow autonomous vehicles to be tested on highways, as local companies, which have developed self-driving technologies for expressways, are keen to test their vehicles in a wide range of scenarios, according to a draft regulation published by the nation's top industry regulator.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published the draft national guideline on its official website on Monday for public opinion. It is an update of a guideline released in 2018.

Currently, there is no national regulation that allows autonomous vehicles to be tested on highways in China, which makes it difficult for companies to gather the relevant data to improve their technologies.

Sensing the emergence of domestic self-driving technologies for expressways, the ministry said there is a need to expand the scope for road tests and pilot applications of intelligent connected vehicles to include highways. But efforts will be made to ensure safety, the ministry said.

The draft guideline said provincial and municipal governments can select representative roads and regions, including highways, in their administrative areas for testing self-driving vehicles.

Meanwhile, unmanned vehicles for professional use, such as self-driving sanitation vehicles, are allowed to apply for road tests under the draft guideline.

The ministry said that China has opened 2,000 kilometers of public roads for testing of intelligent connected vehicles, and it has issued more than 400 licenses to companies for self-driving tests, with the total road test mileage exceeding 2 million kilometers.



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