Beijing plans to complete the construction of a connected cloud-controlled high-level demonstration zone for autonomous driving by the end of 2020, which is the first-of-its-kind for the world. On September 19, some officials from China’s central governmental departments, Beijing authorities and representatives from enterprises jointly kicked off the building of the pilot zone at Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area.
Chen Jining, mayor of Beijing, said at the launching ceremony that the significant demonstration zone is set up for the R&D validation of autonomous driving technologies and the construction of an open platform to popularize the applications of self-driving cars.
At the demonstration zone, an industrial ecosystem that targets Level 4 or above autonomous driving will be fostered there, integrating various businesses of electronics, communications, AI, big data and automobile manufacturing, Chen added.
Autonomous driving companies primarily adopt the technical approach of developing single vehicle intelligence. Nonetheless, it is unlikely to see that the large scale operation of Level 4 or above autonomous vehicles can be achieved in the short term merely relying on the single vehicle intelligence because of such problems as weak perception capability, high production cost and difficulties in handling issues of extreme scenarios.
While supporting the perfection of single vehicle intelligence, Beijing will prioritize the construction of the high-level autonomous driving demonstration zone. By 2022, the demonstration zone will feature mature systems of “intelligent roads, smart vehicles, real-time cloud control, reliable network and precise maps”, and possess a city-level engineering testing platform so as to make the self-driving technologies commercially viable.
The construction will be carried out in four phases. At the 1.0 phase getting under way, Beijing will deploy intelligent infrastructures on 10-km urban roads, 10-road expressways and one AVP (Automated Valet Parking) parking lot.