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Multiple Chinese cities testing autopilot technology

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    16:28, January 05, 2018

Multiple Chinese cities are testing autopilot technology, generating public interest in developing the technology, Chinanews.com reported Friday.

Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai have all paved roads for autonomous vehicles, and related policies at regional and national levels have also been rolled out to guide the development of this industry.

Beijing opened its first road for autonomous test driving on Jan. 3 in Yizhuang, a town in the capital’s southern district of Daxing.

In addition to the test roads, the capital will also improve its traffic facilities to promote autopilot technology. The city is also planning to renovate its traffic lights, signs, and markings so that they can be recognized by autonomous vehicles.

Beijing is not the only city to test the technology. Autonomous buses were rolled out in Shenzhen on December 2, 2017. For the test runs, the route is about 1.2 kilometers, with three stations on a public road in a section of Futian District.

Some legal experts once considered autopilot technology dangerous since it is beyond the regulation of laws. However, some cities have issued specifications to guide the development.

Beijing released China’s first guidelines on the testing of self-driving autonomous vehicles last December, requiring test vehicles to operate in both auto and manual modes. In addition, drivers are essential to test whether the vehicles can be truly self-driving.

Autopilot has become a hot term at a recent national work conference on transportation. The conference stressed that the country should prepare in advance for the possible impact of autopilot technology and should build a strongly educated and innovative labor force.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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