(Yicai Global) April 13 -- Chinese regulators issued a circular yesterday mandating that provincial and municipal government authorities designate test roads for, accept vehicle test applications and issue test vehicle licenses for driverless vehicles.
The guidelines jointly issued by the ministry of industry and information technology, transport ministry and public security bureau direct local authorities to formulate detailed rules based on local conditions and do specific work to facilitate smart connected vehicle road testing.
The notice provides specific conditions autonomous car road test operators, test vehicles and drivers must meet.
The guidelines also make clear that if an accident occurs during test operation, this must be handled per road traffic safety laws and regulations, and liability for damages apportioned in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and judicial interpretations. Criminal liability may also apply if a crime is implicated.
The notice also directs that provincial and municipal authorities shall revoke the testing qualification of test vehicles that seriously violate traffic rules by, e.g. running red lights.
Shanghai issued road test licenses to traditional carmaker SAIC Motor Corp and new energy vehicle developer Shanghai NIO Automobiles Co. on March 1. They have since completed testing with a duration of 130 hours and over 3,000 kilometers in test mileage without traffic infractions or mishaps.
China seems poised to take the global lead in autonomous driving, not because of any technical superiority, but because Chinese are more receptive to the new technology than Americans and less guarded about the use of their personal data, a survey released Feb. 20 by German technical services firm TUV Rheinland has found, as news outlet Quartz reported.
Editors: Ben Armour