Autonomous driving tests on highways is allowed

China drafted new rules to legalise autonomous driving (AD) tests on highways, putting it in line with countries like the US, Germany and the UK. This symbolised that China’s autonomous driving companies have moved on towards a driverless future.


Draft on rules for autonomous driving

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) allows “road testing and example application of smart connected vehicles”. Among the scenarios to test driverless cars, highways are permitted as one of them.

Besides, the draft published this week and opened up for the feedback from the public. This marks a step forward for the industry as Beijing has been relatively cautious on tests of the new technology to date.

China allowed autonomous driving road tests since 2018. They handled a total distance of more than 2 million kilometres “without a severe accident”, the MIIT said.


Future of the automobile industry


Smart internet-connected cars also called intelligent connected vehicles(ICVs) have potential in the automobile industry. Technology companies are currently cooperating with carmakers to develop a range of products regarding this field. For example, these include a range of in-car sensors, controllers, and other devices that enable the exchange and sharing of information between vehicles.


The problem for autonomous driving test on highway

Even though taking autonomous driving test on highways is simpler than city roads, but it poses a larger challenge. For instance, the perception system – which processes data from the sensors will become less accurate when the vehicle speeds up.

Although a world full of driverless cars is still quite a distant reality, investors continue to invest in this industry. US tech giants Apple, Intel, Google and Tesla have all incubated their self-driving divisions. In addition, companies like Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings all have stakes in the domestic industry, alongside start-ups like, WeRide and AutoX.




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