Over 10 Chinese Cities Have Allowed Commercial Trials of Autonomous Vehicles

At a press conference held by China’s Ministry of Transport on August 25, Han Jinghua, deputy director of the ministry’s Transportation Services Department, said that as of now, more than 10 cities across the country have allowed autonomous vehicles to engage in commercial trial operations of taxis and public buses, within specific areas and time periods.

Han also introduced the main background of starting requests for public comment regarding the “Safety Services Guide of Autonomous Driving Vehicles.”

In recent years, with the rapid development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G communication and big data, the application of autonomous driving cars has been accelerated, gradually shifting from R&D and testing to actual operations.

Focusing on core elements such as operating units, vehicles, personnel and safety systems, the draft document opened for public comments puts forward basic requirements for using autonomous vehicles in transportation services, with the aim of guiding standardized and safe applications.

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The development of autonomous and electric vehicles cannot be separated from the guarantee of charging facilities. On August 25, the Ministry of Transport jointly issued a notice with three other institutions, saying that China would speed up the improvement of charging infrastructure along highways to meet the growing demand for charging electric vehicles.

Up to now, 13,374 charging piles have been built along 3,102 of the 6,618 expressway service areas in China. According to the notice, by the end of 2022, expressway service areas across the whole country – except those located in frigid and high-altitude regions – can provide basic charging services. By the end of 2023, qualified ordinary highway service areas can provide basic charging services.