BMW Becomes the First International Automaker to Receive Self-Driving Road Test License in China

Shanghai has granted BMW a license for self-driving vehicle road testing, allowing the German auto manufacturer to be the first multinational company with whole vehicle manufacturing capabilities to test autonomous cars on roads in China.

Shanghai Intelligent and Connected Vehicles (ICVs) Road Testing regulatory body approved the future main experimental sites for BMW vehicles in Shanghai International Automobile City, a total length of about 5.6 kilometers.

The BMW 7 Series, as the latest prototype vehicle for road tests, has been upgraded in line with China’s road conditions. BMW will launch two test vehicles this month, and will gradually increase to seven vehicles by the end of 2018.

Autonomous Driving Test Vehicle of BMW
Autonomous Driving Test Vehicle of BMW

The company stressed that R&D in autopilot vehicles need to complete at least 250 million kilometers of public road test, including computer simulation test and practical road test. BMW for example will be able to test the response of the system by simulating 5 million driving conditions within a short period after each new software release.

BMW has currently accumulated nearly 30,000 kilometers of road testing and around 200,000 kilometers of computer simulations.

The BMW iNEXT electric vehicle scheduled to launch in 2021 will implement the safety technical requirements for Level 3 to Level 5 autopilot, Level 5 being a fully automated driving experience which the new autonomous driving R&D center in Munich of the auto group will provide support for.

Shanghai has given out the first three road testing licenses since March 1. The two other automobile manufacturers who have been granted the license, SAIC Motor and NIO, have both carried out about 40 days of road tests, accumulating test mileage up to 6,040km and test duration of 263 hours.