Beijing Adds Extra 25-Square Mile Area of Testing for Autonomous Cars
China has been heading toward an autonomous future for years. As a recent survey revealed, Chinese consumers are more trusting of self-driving technology than consumers in western countries, which is why the country has steadfastly been trying to provide automakers and tech companies with everything they need to test driverless vehicles in a safe manner. The latest venture has seen Beijing add another testing ground for self-driving cars.
Beijing Increases Testing Grounds
According to China's Shine, Beijing added an additional 25-square-mile area for autonomous car testing. The self-driving cars will have passengers inside of them, though, the report doesn't state whether the vehicles will be giving autonomous rides to people or those passengers include safety drivers. Either way, the latest expansion is a way to foster the growth of autonomous technology.
The outlet goes on to state that China's capital has opened 111 roads with roughly 200 miles in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area in the suburb's southeast area for autonomous car testing. The only locations where self-driving cars won't be allowed to test include hospitals, schools, and office buildings.
At the same time of the announcement of more testing grounds, Beijing also issued licenses for companies testing autonomous vehicles to carry passengers in the vehicles. The outlet claims that Baidu, a Chinese Internet company, is one of the companies that has received the necessary licenses to carry passengers in 40 of its driverless vehicles.
Expanding Testing Parameters
Earlier in December, Beijing introduced regulations for companies testing autonomous vehicles. Part of the regulations included that self-driving cars must have data recorders and an emergency system that provides humans with the ability to manually override the car's autonomous system. With these regulations, and more, the city gave companies the go-ahead to test autonomous cars in the city while carrying passengers.
The latest testing area brings Beijing's total to an impressive number. The outlet states that the city has roughly 151 roads and approximately 313 miles of available testing grounds for companies. The figures put the city at the number one spot in the country. Beijing has also been expanding on the number of companies that have the right licenses to test autonomous vehicles in the city. So far, the city has issued licenses to 13 companies that span 77 total vehicles. According to the data the city has, the vehicles have traveled approximately 621,371 miles.
Beijing has plans to expand test cars and the number of autonomous vehicles that are being tested, as well. The report indicates that testing areas in the capital are expected to reach roughly 311 miles by 2020 and a total of 1,243 miles of roads.
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