China, Germany to embrace broad cooperation in autonomous driving in 5G era: executive

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/23 22:07:38

German transportation solution provider Siemens Mobility looks forward to the rapid development of China's autonomous driving industry under a 5G network and there will be large industrial cooperation potential between the two countries, a German business representative said on Tuesday.

The Chinese government has a very clear program of how to develop the autonomous driving sector, with a clear target that the future of traffic should be connected, shared, autonomous and electric, Jurgen Model, CEO of Siemens Mobility China, told the Global Times.

As China leads in 5G technology, a 5G network, which will be installed very soon in the country, will lay a solid infrastructure foundation for the growth of the Chinese autonomous driving industry, Model said.

"We signed a contract with Suzhou Industrial Park [in East China's Jiangsu Province] for autonomous driving, where we are providing the landside equipment and the traffic management system, the so-called roadside unit," he said.

"What does it mean? We are collecting data and information from the landside, traffic lights and cameras, managing it in a traffic management system. Then the signals are sent to the car," Model said, adding "that means we can support ... breaching the last blind spot."

In autonomous driving, there's always a last blind spot and that's why there were some accidents in the past, he noted. To guarantee the utmost safety is the core issue for the industry, he said. 

There will be large growth potential in cooperation in the autonomous driving industry between Chinese and German companies thanks to support from both governments, he said.

China and Germany should seize new opportunities in innovation cooperation in emerging industries such as autonomous driving technologies, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during his visit to Germany in July 2018, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Li said China welcomed German manufacturers of autonomous vehicles to invest in the country.

Siemens Mobility has long been a partner of China's transportation industry since the company built China's first electric tram line in 1899. "We would like to share with our Chinese partners," Model noted.

Facing large business opportunities brought by the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the company will take advantage of its technology knowhow and global footprint to help Chinese partners "go global."

"I'm honored to say that we are the first multinational firm joining the BRI and also the first foreign firm to sign a momentum of understanding under the initiative with the National Development and Reform Commission," the CEO said.

The company has conducted many projects in countries and regions along the BRI routes, which laid a sound foundation for it to contribute to the development of the initiative, he said. 

During the past 100-plus years, Siemens Mobility has actively participated in China's transportation infrastructure development and modernization. In mainline transport, Siemens Mobility provided signaling systems, locomotives, high-speed train key components and maintenance for Chinese customers.

For instance, the company made a contribution to a passenger line: the world's longest railway electrification from Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province to Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

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