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China Supports Innovation in Smart Driving to Establish Global Leadership

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

China has announced its commitment to bolstering innovation in the smart vehicle industry by backing firms in the supply chain to form innovation consortia.

Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China
Credits: REUTERS

The move comes as China aims to establish standards for assisted and autonomous driving functions by 2025.

The country, which is the world's largest auto market, has made intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) a strategic focus in its bid to become a global leader in the emerging industry.

The Chinese government plans to support companies in forming these innovation consortia to facilitate knowledge sharing and technological breakthroughs. The goal is to accelerate the formulation and revision of key standards in the smart driving sector. While China's autonomous driving categories range from Level 1 to Level 5, with Level 1 being the least automated, data shows that over 42% of new passenger vehicles in the country already meet Level 2 standards.

As China progresses towards Level 3 automation, where vehicles can drive under certain conditions without human intervention, Baidu's Apollo Go is taking the lead. Baidu, a Chinese tech company, obtained a license in June to operate its driverless ride-hailing service commercially in parts of Shenzhen. This makes Shenzhen the fourth city in China, after Wuhan, Chongqing and Beijing, to offer such a service.

China's ambition extends beyond Level 3 automation. The country aims to master the core technologies of advanced autonomous driving and eventually deploy driverless vehicles on its roads, positioning itself as a global leader in the industry. However, Chinese companies face challenges such as export curbs on technology imposed by the United States and competition from Western counterparts like Tesla.

The announcement of China's support for innovation in smart driving has been welcomed by industry experts. It is seen as a significant step towards establishing clear standards and promoting collaboration within the industry. The move is expected to drive further advancements in autonomous driving technology and solidify China's position as a key player in the global smart vehicle market.

  • China is backing firms in the smart vehicle supply chain to form innovation consortia to promote innovation in the industry.

  • The country aims to establish standards for assisted and autonomous driving functions by 2025.

  • China has made intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) a strategic focus to become a global leader in the smart vehicle industry.


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