How Does China Promote Intelligent Connected Vehicles Technology?
Author： Neuvition, IncRelease time：2022-07-29 03:16:45
With the development of intelligent connected vehicles, more and more countries and cities have issued relevant policies for the implementation of autonomous driving, and related companies in the industry chain have gradually expanded their scope of operations. Car companies pay more attention to investment in autonomous driving companies and intend to obtain autonomous driving solutions through their mobile travel platforms and new models. How does China promote intelligent connected vehicles technology? Let’s discuss from policies, initiatives, and related components such as LiDAR sensors, etc.
Some cities roll out relevant administrative documents and initiatives
Administrative documents and initiatives in Shenzhen
Recently, the Regulations on the Administration of Intelligent Connected Vehicles in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations) have been included in the 2022 legislative plan issued by the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress and ranked first. It is expected to be released in 2022. This will also be the first domestic regulation to regulate the management of intelligent connected vehicles. The Regulations are expected to become the first official administrative document in China that divides important issues such as the rights & liabilities, and definitions of L3 and above autonomous driving in detail.
At present, the transformation direction of intelligent connected vehicles has become the general trend. The implementation of advanced assisted driving technology and autonomous driving technology has become an important link in the product configuration of major car companies. The relevant specification documents also need to be released or improved.
In March 2021, the General Office of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress issued an announcement for public comment on the Regulations on the Administration of Intelligent Connected Vehicles in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (Draft for Comment) (hereinafter referred to as the Comment). It explains the level of autonomous driving technology, road testing, demonstration applications, and access and registration of intelligent connected vehicles.
According to the Comment, the Shenzhen Municipal Government can choose the administrative region with relatively complete V2X infrastructure as a pilot site for the road test, demonstration application, and commercialization of intelligent connected vehicles. At the same time, road tests or demonstration applications of highly autonomous and fully autonomous intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) are subject to safety assessment, review, and approval by the relevant municipal authorities; and no driver may be required if corresponding safety measures are taken.
Keywords such as “global open” and “not equipped with drivers” mentioned in the Regulations are eye-catching. More scenarios such as unmanned testing and commercial pilot exploration will be launched soon to encourage and support the innovation and development of industry-related enterprises.
At the same time, Pingshan District, Shenzhen has officially opened the normal operation route for Robotaxi in June; other areas are also opening to accelerate the demonstration of various application scenarios in the region and to promote commercialization exploration. It is worth mentioning that, on the basis of obtaining the National Pilot Zone for Internet of Vehicles in 2021, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology approved Shenzhen to become a pilot city for the coordinated development of smart city infrastructure and intelligent connected vehicles. Two projects of pilot application of autonomous driving in Shenzhen undertaken by the Ministry of Transport have also passed the preliminary review.
The policy documents that have been perfected year by year support the implementation of autonomous driving. The open mileage of Shenzhen’s test roads is about 145 kilometers. A total of 93 notices of road test and demonstration application have been issued, including 23 notices of manned demonstration application. At the same time, 38 unmanned container trucks have been put into operation in Mawan Smart Port to realize autonomous driving operations. Shenzhen has also cultivated local emerging technology companies such as DeepRoute.AI and AutoX, attracting companies such as Baidu, Pony.ai, and WeRide to settle down and develop.
Administrative documents and initiatives in Changsha
Shenzhen is not the only city that is actively promoting the implementation of autonomous driving standards above the L3 level. Changsha City in Hunan Province, adjacent to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, is also working hard to promote the development of autonomous vehicles. In early June, five departments including the Changsha Bureau of Industry and Information Technology jointly issued the Changsha Intelligent Connected Vehicles Road Test and Demonstration Application Management Rules (Trial) V4.0, allowing intelligent driving vehicles to go from demonstration applications to demonstration operations.
As an important node city in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Changsha is one of the first cities in China to issue road test licenses for intelligent driving vehicles. As early as 2018, a national-level intelligent connected vehicle test area was established in Changsha. At present, Changsha is striving to become the first city of intelligent driving under the guidance of the 14th Five-Year Development Plan for the Intelligent Connected Vehicle Industry in Hunan Province (2021-2025).
LiDAR and Intelligent Connected Vehicle Industry
In 2020, for the first time, the National Development and Reform Commission officially defined the seven major sectors of new infrastructure. LiDAR, as a terminal sensor device, has continuously expanded its application scenarios in the fields of intelligent connected vehicle industry such as autonomous driving and V2X, and its importance has been continuously highlighted. The Chinese government’s support for autonomous driving will play a positive role in promoting the development of the global LiDAR industry. At present, no matter in the civilian field or commercial field, LiDAR in the Chinese market has been in short supply for a long time. However, with the continuous breakthrough of production technology, the contradiction between supply and demand in the industry has been alleviated, and future development scale growth rate will also be significantly improved.
With the improvement of the level of autonomous driving, the number of sensors in a single vehicle has increased exponentially. For high-level autonomous driving above the L3 level, LiDAR is an essential key core device. Sensors such as LiDAR and millimeter-wave radar and visual fusion can perceive the environmental information of intersection blind spots, corner blind spots, and vehicle blind spots, to realize intelligent collaboration and cooperation between vehicles and infrastructure, optimize the utilization of system resources and improve road conditions and traffic safety, and ease traffic congestion. The Chinese government also sees the importance of the deep integration and application of LiDAR and ICVs (intelligent connected vehicles). From 2021 to 2022, government departments in China attach great importance to the development of intelligent connected vehicles and their intelligent components, and intensively issue relevant policies to seize the opportunity of the new automobile four modernizations of automobiles (software, intelligent, connected, electrified), support the research and development and application of autonomous driving technology and intelligent sensors, and promote the further development of LiDAR.
Under the influence of post-epidemic economic recovery, the emergence of high-level self-driving mass-produced vehicles, mature technology, and government support, China’s automotive LiDAR market has grown rapidly. It is estimated that the market size is expected to exceed 140 billion by 2026, with a compound growth rate of 20.4%.
The Chinese government strongly encourages automakers to deploy self-driving technology and install LiDARs on as many vehicles as possible. Moreover, China’s central and local governments buy millions of cars each year, so they themselves could be big consumers of the technology.
There will be a huge demand for car sharing and Robotaxi in China. The Chinese government is really pushing the local auto industry to become a leader in autonomous driving and thus a leader in LiDAR.
Autonomous driving companies, car companies, and other parties focus on the iterative upgrade of technologies such as LiDAR and in-vehicle cameras and try to put the updated sensors on real vehicles for mass production, striving to let the market see the technological sense of the models in the era of intelligent networking. In the future, with the development of autonomous driving technology, sensors need to continue to iterate to adapt to higher levels of autonomous driving.