(Yicai Global) March 14 -- The government of Hangzhou, capital of Southeast China's Zhejiang province, has decided to build a road to test self-driving cars on a site only 1.4 kilometers from the headquarters of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a leading Chinese tech conglomerate and a pioneer in autonomous driving technology research.
The road, 1.6 kilometers long and 21 meters wide, is designed as an enclosed testing facility, state news outlet The Paper learned in a visit to the site yesterday. Most transport equipment on the scene is already in place, but it is still unclear when the road will open for use.
The management committee of Zhejiang Hangzhou Future Sci-Tech City will be responsible for the test road, a source inside the committee said. As well as stimulating the development of the 'artificial intelligence town,' it will also attract more high-tech firms, putting Hangzhou on a par with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen as major national centers for development of autonomous driving technology.
Beijing issued China's first driverless car road test policy in December, and Shanghai cut the ribbon on its first test road facility for intelligent and connected vehicles, also known as ICVs, in its suburban Jiading district earlier this month.
Rumor holds that Alibaba has set up a driving automation team. Its artificial intelligence squad iDST ranked number one in three tasks in the world's largest autonomous driving computer vision algorithm, KITTI.