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China’s first 5G-powered level 4 self-driving production vehicle rolls off assembly line
Monika From Gasgoo| June 15 , 2020

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Dongfeng Motor Corporation (called “Dongfeng” for short) on June 12 saw the mass-produced version of the Dongfeng Sharing-VAN 1.0 Plus, purportedly China's first 5G-enabled autonomous vehicle with level 4 applications, roll off the production line at its technical center.

The first six production vehicles are to be dispatched to the National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology in Qingdao, Shandong province to conduct operations like ferrying passengers and delivering goods at a smart industrial park, according to Dongfeng. From the time being, the automaker has received orders of over 70 vehicles, which are set to be used as self-driving mini buses and those for logistics, sanitation and disinfection, etc.

The launch of the Dongfeng Sharing-VAN 1.0 Plus is the newest achievement of Dongfeng's endeavors in exploring new business model of sharing mobility service, and also a milestone in the automaker's push for commercializing self-driving technologies, said Tan Minqiang, the head of Dongfeng's technical center.

Dongfeng sharing VAN, Dongfeng autnomous driving, China automotive news

(Photo source: Dongfeng Motor)

It took the developer only six months to offer the first prototype and twenty two months to roll out the mass-produced one after the project of Dongfeng Sharing-VAN was initiated in September 2018, which is much faster than the full development of a traditional car.

“Greatly shortening the R&D period is the only way to make us gain a head start over others in developing the‘next-generation' vehicles,” said Li Kai, the director of the SV-BU (Sharing-VAN Business Unit) at Dongfeng's technical hub.

As an updated version of the Sharging-VAN, the “1.0 Plus” is available to a number of applications such as one-key car hailing, dynamic speed, speed limitation, dynamic obstacle avoidance, multi-car formation, automated parking and remote control. Powered by 5G communications technology and assisted by IoV (Internet of Vehicles) and the BeiDou navigation satellite system, the vehicle can be remotely controlled and be taken over by the background program within five to six milliseconds when encountering emergencies, said Dongfeng.

There have been a dozen models of various sorts developed on the basis of the Sharing-VAN prototype. For instance, the self-driving minibus is designed for the last-mile transportation, and other passenger-carrying models can be used to ferry people at large-scale industrial parks and scenic spots. Those loaded with goods can be retrofitted as self-driving logistics vehicles, mobile libraries and driverless vending cars. Other special functions like sanitation, disinfection, security patrol and explosion protection have been taken into account as well.

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