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Groundbreaking begins on China’s first open testing base for Level 4 autonomous cars

Monika From Gasgoo| March 10 , 2020

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Chinese Internet giant Baidu celebrated on March 9 the first spade cut of a Chongqing-based open testing base for autonomous vehicles jointly built with local government of Yongchuan district and Chongqing Academy of Metrology & Quality Inspection, targeting China's first-of-its-kind facility for Level 4 self-driving tests.

Involving a total investment of RMB1 billion, the project is scheduled to set up an autonomous driving test base at Yongchuan district and establish there the Apollo self-driving testing operation hub, which will work on the testing ground construction, R&D of autonomous driving technologies, vehicle tests as well as relevant big data services. The first phase will have the capacity that allows over 100 vehicles to be tested.

China Level 4 autonomous car test base, Baidu Level 4 self-driving, China automotive news

(Photo source: Baidu Apollo's WeChat account)

The installation of facility is expected to be completed in early June, and the software debugging is to be ended in early July with the base starting trial operation then. Furthermore, local government intends to found a supporting platform focusing on the R&D of key technologies and the demonstration of innovative applications in a bid to garner for Yongchuan the industrial chain resources of automobile intelligent & connectivity and autonomous driving.

Baidu announced a strategic partnership with the Chongqing municipal government at the 2019 Smart China Expo to team up on areas such as autonomous driving, smart government, smart city and blockchain solutions, helping the populous city drive the intelligent transformation of industries.

Under the agreement, passenger trial rides for Baidu's robotaxi would be conducted on the designated open roads for the landing of intelligent transportation products and services.

China Level 4 autonomous car test base, Baidu Level 4 self-driving, China automotive news

(Photo source: Baidu)

China is pressing ahead with its development of autonomous vehicles. Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said the Chinese-spec Taxonomy of Driving Automation for Vehicles will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2021 after the draft is completely approved. This means autonomous car developers in the country will soon have a standard system that defines vehicle driving automation befitting China's indigenous road conditions to rely on.

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