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China moves to strengthen innovation in smart driving

People visit various booths at the Auto Shanghai show, in Shanghai, China, April 19, 2023. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

China moves to strengthen innovation in smart driving. As the country works to develop standards for assisted and autonomous driving features by 2025, state media reported on Monday that China will support smart car supply chain companies in establishing groups devoted to fostering innovation.

The largest auto market in the world, which set the bar for such requirements in July, has made “intelligent connected vehicles” (ICVs) a long-term strategic goal to dominate the still-emerging global market.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, China would assist companies in creating “innovation consortia,” so they may benefit from one another’s capabilities and make technical advancements.

The agency said, citing Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, saying China wants to hasten the development and modification of important standards.

Official data indicates that in the first half of 2023, just over 42% of China’s new passenger vehicles had already gained Level 2, even though Level 1 is the least intelligent or automated of the country’s five autonomous driving categories.
These vehicles can perform driving tasks, but the driver must constantly be ready to take control if the circumstances change.

Baidu’s (9888. HK) Apollo Go is in the lead as China advances with Level 3 automation, which allows a car to drive by itself under specific circumstances.

In June, the company was permitted to operate its commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in some areas of Shenzhen.

After the capital of Beijing, the southwestern city of Chongqing, and the central city of Wuhan, the IT center is China’s fourth city to provide such a service.

To dominate the sector globally and eventually introduce driverless cars on national roads, China aspires to master the fundamental technologies of advanced autonomous driving.

However, as the United States restricts technology exports, Chinese developers like Baidu face geopolitical challenges and fierce rivalry from Western rivals like Tesla (TSLA.O) regarding advancing technology.

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