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MIIT rules out unregulated driverless car tests
Last Updated: 2016-07-22 08:15 | chinadaily.com.cn
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Changan's vehicle attracts attention at the Beijing Auto Show 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China is formulating rules for governing the testing of autonomous vehicles on the country's highways, according to bloomberg.com, citing an official from the auto industry regulator.

According to the report, She Weizhen, head of the auto department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), noted recently at a forum in Beijing that a preliminary draft of the rules had been jointly worked out between the regulator and the police. But she did not say when the regulations would be finalized.

The regulator has also warned that "automakers will not allow testing their self-driving vehicles on highways before the regulations are released," the report said.

The industry has come under increased scrutiny recently after the US began investigating fatal accidents involving Model S sedan and Model X SUV drivers using Tesla Motors Inc's Autopilot system, an assist feature that enables automatic braking by using vehicle-mounted detector systems.

The arrival of full autonomy cars is still pending, after a flourish in China's auto sales market and an increasing demand among consumers to prevent vehicle accidents and deaths, contributed to a boom in China's self-driving industry.

The nation's major internet companies Baidu Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group, known as BAT, have all rolled out strategies to expand their business wings into the autonomous market, while traditional domestic manufacturers have also kept pace with the trend.

Baidu, which is betting big on autonomous driving, successfully completed the first road test of a self-driving car at the end of last year.

In April, Chinese internet company LeEco Holdings Ltd launched its concept car LeSEE, jointly built with US auto manufacturer Faraday Future. Its driverless technology was showcased during the launch.

In mid-April, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co completed a 2000 kilometer trip with a self-driving car, using cameras and radar.

 

 

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