Wuhan issues nation’s first commercial license for tests of autonomous vehicles

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/22 22:23:40

A self-driving bus is seen running on a road of Changyang Campus in Yangpu district, east China's Shanghai, June 21, 2019. In recent years, Yangpu District has vigorously developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry in the process of industrial transformation, making efforts to establish several innovation zones focusing on AI such as Changyang Campus. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)

Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province, issued the country's first commercial licenses to companies for trials of driverless vehicles in open road conditions, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday. 

The companies - including Baidu Inc, Haylion Technologies and DeepBlue Technology (Shanghai) Co - received licenses from the Wuhan traffic authority and will be able to conduct trials in designated areas of a 28-kilometer road, according to the report. 

The area is a demonstration zone set up by the city for the testing of internet-connected cars based on the vehicle-to-everything concept powered by 5G wireless technology. 

The area has attracted more than 40 domestic and foreign automakers to set up operations to test their buses, taxis, logistics trucks and sanitation vehicles. 

Powered by multifunctional traffic monitor poles that stand every few hundred meters, the driverless vehicles can reduce time lapses to milliseconds and improve the precision of positioning to centimeters. The poles are equipped with 5G wireless technology and China's domestic BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

Residents within the test area were on board buses as the driverless vehicles conducted tests.

Officials with the Wuhan traffic authority said that commercial licensing will allow companies, based on previous tests, to deepen their trials of remote driving and the application of the intelligent collaborative systems under the 5G environment. The transportation of real passengers was also a highlight. These improvements will push autonomous driving into real-world applications. 

Deputy Mayor Hu Yabo said Wuhan will make the area the first in the nation to meet the level 4 autonomous car standards, which means that the car can operate without human input or oversight only under select conditions such as a defined geographic area. 

Hu said the city welcomes companies to conduct tests in the area, and there will be subsidies at appropriate levels. The efforts will take China's self-driving vehicles on track to take global leadership position, Xinhua reported, citing Hu. 


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