Chinese state media outlet, China Daily, reported
yesterday that China will issue its first public road automated driving test
license by June 2018. This was revealed by Zhu Xichan, Professor at the School
of Automotive Studies at Tongji University, at the 2017 World Autonomous
Vehicle Ecosystem Conference held on November 6 in Shanghai.
Xin Guobin, vice-minister of industry and information technology,
said at the conference, that the Government will create an environment suitable
for the development of intelligent and connected vehicles. The Government will
also deepen international cooperation and work on a continuous basis for
improving policies and regulation.
The Shanghai government is taking a lead in the area and expected
to invest billions of yuan to build the top autonomous driving environment in
the world, according to Rong Wenwei, president of Shanghai International Automobile City Group.
Shanghai is building a world-class facility for research and
development, and testing and evaluating intelligent, connected vehicles. The city
has also committed to establishing a more standardised legal and regulatory
According to the China
Daily article, the Shanghai government has invested over 50 million yuan
($7.53 million) into controlled test zones in Shanghai International Automobile
City, not including infrastructure investment. Since the controlled test zone
with 5G telecommunications facilities became operational in June 2016, large automakers
such as General Motors, as well as start-ups, like TuSimple Inc. have been using
the facilities for testing their intelligent, connected vehicles.
There are plans to expand the current testing area of 2
square kilometre area to 25 square kilometres by the end of 2018.
Declaration inked on November 6 by seven parties set out an aim to jointly
direct efforts to build an intelligent connected transport system that causes
no emissions or casualties, and is energy-efficient, comfortable and
convenient. The signatories included the Ministry of Industry and Information
Technology, the Shanghai government, the United Kingdom Embassy in China, the
UK's Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the International
Transportation Innovation Center, Nomura Research Institute, and the
Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. Together the parties will
promote pilot demonstrations of intelligent and connected vehicles.
The declaration also aims to gather experts from globally
renowned automotive companies, institutes and organisations, build an open and
diversified platform for international exchanges and cross-sector cooperation,
and share technological innovation and industrial development results.