China takes big step towards allowing self-drive cars on public roads

  • BYD and SAIC are among several car brands that are now permitted to conduct autonomous drive trials on public roads.
Autonomous driving
File photo used for representational purpose.
Autonomous driving
File photo used for representational purpose.

Even as the merits and potential risks of allowing a car driving itself on public roads continues to be hotly debated, China has permitted a number of Chinese car companies to accelerate testing autonomous driving technology on public roads.

The green signal has reportedly come from the Chinese Industry Ministry and has been given to companies like BYD, GAC, SAIC, BAIC, FAW and NIO. These are some of the most popular local brands in China and a few are also fast expanding presence in global markets. The move to permit these companies to conduct trials to study autonomous driving technology on public roads is being seen as a clear willingness of the Chinese government to allow Chinese car brands to lead the tech game against global rivals.

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Autonomous drive technology is obviously subjected to a plethora of local rules and regulations, and will differ from region to region. But China's march in this regard is significant because it is the world's largest automotive market.

It is speculated that if the trials are largely successful, the results would also help these Chinese brands to portray themselves as credible companies making solid automotive options.

(This is a developing news report. More details will be added as and when available)

First Published Date: 04 Jun 2024, 16:03 PM IST
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