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China’s first L4 autonomous driving smart highway to complete construction soon

Gabriella From Gasgoo| September 14 , 2023 15:09 BJT

Beijing (Gasgoo)- China's inaugural holistic sensing smart highway, designed to support C-V2X systems and meet Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, has successfully achieved over 80% project completion and is on the verge of opening to traffic, according to “Suzhou Fabu”, the official WeChat account of Suzhou’s municipal authorities.

China’s first L4 autonomous driving smart highway to complete construction soon

Photo credit: Suzhou Fabu

This groundbreaking project covers the Suzhou-Taizhou Expressway (Sutai Expressway) S17 (Huangdai Interchange to Yangchenghu North Interchange) and is set to conclude system integration and testing by the end of September.

Of paramount significance is that this smart highway will enable Level 4 autonomous driving, a major stride toward fully autonomous vehicles. The initiative involves the intelligent upgrade of a 56-kilometer stretch of the said section of the Sutai Expressway, where a total of 270 perception devices, including LiDAR, millimeter-wave radar, cameras, and road-side unit (RSU) antennas, have been strategically placed at 55 locations. 

These devices form a comprehensive perception network covering both the main road and ramps (interchanges), including key points such as Beiqiao Interchange, Weitang Interchange, Xiangcheng Hub, and North Yangcheng Lake Service Area. Specific areas of focus encompass toll booths, ramps, and service areas.

The holistic sensing section spans 6.5 kilometers from Weitang Interchange to Xiangcheng Hub (west to east). Here, two information display screens have been installed at the entrance and midpoint of the main road. Additionally, LiDAR and cameras are positioned approximately every 230 meters, while RSU antennas are spaced around 460 meters apart. The interchange and ramp perception section can detect vehicles entering and exiting the test area, with equipment such as cameras, RSU antennas, and millimeter-wave radar deployed at key locations.

This intelligent highway promises to fulfill several functions, including the ability to enable braking systems to complete driving tasks and monitor driving conditions in specific environments and under particular conditions. It will effectively monitor highway incidents and road conditions. Moreover, it will provide valuable high-speed scenario test data for automakers, algorithm developers, and equipment suppliers, creating a closed-loop testing environment from intelligent connected urban roads to high-speed highway segments. 

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