Autonomous Car Testing Is Now Banned on China’s Highways

#hashtags: #Bloomberg #Weizhen

A new report from Bloomberg revealed that Chinese auto industry regulators are said to be collaborating with police to come up with rules regarding autonomous car testing. As a result, the industry has come out with a draft of the preliminary regulations. She Weizhen, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, revealed that work toward implementing autonomous vehicle regulations is well under way but didn’t give a time frame as to when the regulations will be finalized and released. Until they are, the government says self-driving cars cannot test on public highways.

China’s push for self-driving cars is part of a broader plan that urges automakers to upgrade their technologies as emerging countries compete for new factory jobs that are more labor-intensive. Bloomberg also points out that a moratorium on highway testing could cause setbacks in the introduction of autonomous vehicles in China since it won’t allow automakers to take into account traffic conditions and driving habits.

The development of autonomous vehicles recently came under fire in the U.S. after NHTSA opened an investigation on a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S that crashed while engaged in Autopilot mode this past May. In China, a self-driving car that used cameras and radar built by Chongqing Changan Automobile finished a 1,200-mile trip this past April. Recently, Baidu and Volvo’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, urged the Chinese government to speed up the drafting of legal framework concerning autonomous driving technology.

Source: Bloomberg