China Opens First Pilot Zone for Commercial Driverless Mobility Service in Beijing

Garrett_Li

Garrett_...

· 2021.11.26

The opening of the pilot zone marks the start of the commercialization phase following the testing phase in the country.

BEIJING, November 25 (TMTPOST) — China’s first pilot zone for commercial driverless mobility service has started operation Thursday in Beijing.

The opening of the pilot zone marks the industry’s entry into the commercialization phase from the testing phase in the country.

Source: Visual China

The first batch of driverless mobility service providers authorized by the program will be able to provide commercial service in a designated area of 60 km² in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area. According to the pilot zone’s rules, companies are allowed to determine the price of their services based on the market conditions under the principle of fair competition. Service providers must provide consumers with transparent service information such as fees and payment methods before charging them.

“We have issued operation permits to two companies for the pilot program this time. In the future, residents will be able to hail self-driving cars at over 700 stations. There will be a fleet of around 100 cars,” said Jie Fei, the deputy director of the Autonomous Driving Pilot Zone Office of Beijing. “Only service providers with the pilot zone’s permit can test their service. In addition, they must have completed 30,000 km of open road test and 20,000 km test with human passengers. There is also one more condition. We require service providers to have a passenger size of 30,000. This means that the service providers’ technological and operational capabilities are guaranteed.”

The self-driving service industry in China is now entering the commercialization phase after passing the technical test and product development phase, experts say. The pilot zone will help driverless mobility service providers test commercial operations, which can also assist companies in improving their self-driving technologies and operation.

China's first national standard for self-driving vehicles will take effect in March 2022, according to a news report from TechWire Asia. The six-tier standard provides official definitions for self-driving cars from L0, which relies largely on human drivers, to L5 that achieves full driving automation.

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