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China delays mass production of conditional automated vehicles until 2025

25 February 2020 IHS Markit Automotive Expert


China will delay mass production of conditional automated vehicles until 2025 from the planned date of 2020, reports Caixin Global. Conditional driving automation refers to Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 automated vehicles that are capable of keeping the lane in highways and designated areas of motorways. However, they require a human in the driving seat for lane changes. The development plan was released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), among several other government agencies.

Significance: The initial mandate from the central government aimed to have 50% of all new vehicles sold in China to have partly autonomous functions by 2020. The delay is due to the challenges automakers and tech companies are facing to make autonomous cars safe for public use. However, Chinese cities are increasingly issuing licences to automakers and technology companies to test their autonomous vehicle (AV) technology on public roads. Shanghai has previously issued intelligent connected vehicle (ICV) demonstration licences to SAIC Motor, BMW, and Didi Chuxing (DiDi) that allow these companies to use their AVs to transport qualified passengers (volunteers) as well as goods for delivery. Wuhan, capital of China's Hubei Province, has granted commercial licences to Baidu, Shenzhen Haylion Technologies and DeepBlue Technology to test their autonomous buses.

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