China Moves To Bolster Innovation in Smart Driving


China will support enterprises in the smart car supply chain in forming groups dedicated to promoting innovation, official media said, as the country races to develop standards for assisted and autonomous driving features by 2025. The world's largest auto market, which set such rules in July, has made so-called intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) a long-term strategic goal in its quest to become the dominant global player in the still-nascent industry.

China will support firms in forming "innovation consortia", that enable them to learn from each other's strengths in order to achieve technological breakthroughs, according to sources.

Citing Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, the agency added that China aims to speed its formulation and revision of key standards. While level 1 is the least intelligent or automated of China's five categories of autonomous driving, official data shows that in the first half of 2023, just over 42% of the country's new passenger vehicles had already attained Level 2, as per economic times.

Vehicles in this category can drive, but the driver must always be ready to take control if road conditions change. Baidu's Apollo Go is leading the charge in China's Level 3 automation, in which a car may drive itself under specific conditions.

In June, the company received a license to operate its autonomous ride-hailing service commercially in portions of Shenzhen. This is the IT powerhouse China's fourth city to provide such a service, after Wuhan in the center, Chongqing in the southwest, and Beijing in the capital. In order to become the world's leading industry player, China intends to master the core technologies of advanced autonomous driving and eventually deploy driverless vehicles on its roads.

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