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China’s first-of-its-kind L4 production autonomous car given green light for road test

Monika From Gasgoo| September 05 , 2019 13:46 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- The Hongqi EV, which is purportedly China's first-of-its-kind L4 mass-produced autonomous vehicle, has been given go-ahead to be tested on road in Beijing , according to an official press release.

After gaining five licenses on August 30 from Beijing's authority, the Hongqi EV, a pure electric vehicle jointly developed by China's search engine giant Baidu and FAW's premium car brand Hongqi, will extend its testing track into the country's capital. Before that, it had traveled up to 135km for self-driving road tests in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.

Hongqi EV autonomous road test license, Baidu Hongqi cooperation, Baidu Apollo self-driving road test, China automotive news

The birth of the Hongqi EV means something significant to China's autonomous vehicle development as it is built on the country's first factory-installed production line designed for L4 autonomous cars.

Hongqi EV autonomous road test license, Baidu Hongqi cooperation, Baidu Apollo self-driving road test, China automotive news

Presenting the latest fruits of Baidu Apollo's technical iteration on autonomous vehicles, the Hongqi EV boasts upgrades in such areas as safety, volume production capability, exterior, interior as well as driving experience, according to the press release.

Improving the interaction between the vehicle and passengers is another bright spot worth mentioning. A screen at the passenger zone cannot be found in old-generation Apollo vehicles. Using the newly-added display, passengers are able to see what the world like in the “eyes” of the autonomous vehicle and decide the timing of starting a trip.

Hongqi EV autonomous road test license, Baidu Hongqi cooperation, Baidu Apollo self-driving road test, China automotive news

Around the driver seat, the three-spoke steering wheel, the floating center console displays and the liquid crystal dashboard separately exist in case they are mistakably touched. Besides, the driving mode can be switched from the “system control” to the “driver control” anytime the driver needs or wants.

At Baidu's Create AI developer conference in 2019, Baidu revealed that its fleet of 300 L4 vehicles across 13 cities had achieved a major milestone: 2 million kilometers driven autonomously in urban environments. In early July, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport allocated its entire first batch of T4 autonomous driving test permits to Baidu (Photo source: Baidu).

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