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People positive about automated driving service

Qian Tong
Passengers are positive about automated driving after the service became available in Jiading District from last June.
Qian Tong

Passengers are positive about automated driving after the service became available in Jiading District from last June.

Companies such as ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, Internet giant Baidu, autonomous driving startup Pony.ai, and AutoX, a startup backed by Alibaba, are among those moving into the later stages of commercializing the cars of the future.

“I had some doubts about driverless cars, but after taking the robotaxis I have full confidence in it now,” a woman surnamed Bai said.

“Some passengers suggested that the surrounding road conditions sensed by the radar and cameras should be displayed on the rear display screen,” said Li Jian, a project leader with Didi Chuxing. “And the suggestion has been adopted.”

Last November, Didi invited 24 visually impaired people with 15 guide dogs to take a ride on the robotaxis. Many put forward suggestions for improvements — voice navigation in the car for example.

In the next step, Didi’s autonomous driving will continue to expand in the aspects of technology, convenience, and entertainment. The temperature control function will be moved to the rear display, and the remote control will be directly handed to passengers. Video playback functions will be added to entertain passengers.

Robotaxi projects have been launched in several Chinese cities, but in most cases, they still have a driver who can take over in the case of an emergency.

Shanghai issued the first batch of intelligent connected vehicle license plates in 2018. So far, SAIC, BMW, Didi Chuxing, AutoX, Toyota and Hongyan have received them.

A 53.6-kilometer open test road in Jiading has a full coverage of 5G and a high-precision map.

Companies operating driverless cars on public roads must have special license plates from local authorities. In Shanghai, vehicles need to pass a test before going on public roads. 

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