China building a national-level innovation platform to speed up the development of intelligent vehicles
China is building a national-level innovation platform to further accelerate the development of intelligent vehicles, the National Development and Reform Commission said during seminar held in Beijing on Wednesday.
“The platform will be established in order to solve the problems and obstacles in the development of intelligent vehicles and ensure the effective implementation of national strategies,” said Nian Yong, director-general department of industry of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a connected and automated vehicle international seminar.
The NDRC plan envisages the platform to comprise government department officials, industry professionals and scholars as well as auto companies. The nation's top economic planner said that through the platform, China hopes to attract key enterprises, encourage overseas mergers and acquisitions and enhance research and development capabilities of intelligent vehicles.
“At present, China has started preparing for intelligent vehicles which includes strengthening intellectual property protection, emphasizing supervision and law enforcement, enhancing a credit system, talent training, supporting cross-border mergers and acquisitions and encouraging foreign-invested companies to participate in the development of an intelligent and connected vehicle industry,” Nian said.
China is actively encouraging the development of intelligent vehicles. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Standardization Administration of China jointly issued key tasks for standardization in intelligent and connected vehicles in 2018.
The key tasks include formulation and revision of standards of intelligent and connected vehicles and strengthen international exchange. China will enhance communication with US, France, Germany, Japan and other countries to discuss technology and standards of intelligent and connected vehicles.
To promote development of the industry, China issued licenses for road testing of intelligent and connected vehicles. Shanghai issued the country’s first batch of licenses allowing testing of intelligent vehicles on public roads on March 1 to China’s largest automaker SAIC Motor Co and Shanghai-based electric carmaker NIO. Beijing also released its first license for Baidu's self-driving vehicles for public road testing on March 22.
Auto manufacturers said they are optimistic about the future prospects of intelligent and connected vehicles in China.
Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Volvo Car Group, said that “China already has a strong market base which will lead the development of intelligent and connected vehicles in the world. We are optimistic on the development of automated driving in China.”
“More research and development professionals and technical staff are needed. There are fewer than 20,000 technical staff who work on intelligent and connected vehicles in China, while there are more than 60,000 people in the United States,” Li added.
Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive officer and president of Volvo Car Group, said that "China has the capability to be the world leader of intelligent vehicles. We can only gradually reduce the number of traffic accidents through better technologies. Through cooperation between various departments and a fair competition platform, automated driving has a promising future."