Lingang autonomous vehicle testing center opens

It is the first project since Lingang joined Shangha's FTZ.

The Shanghai Lingang Autonomous and Informationalized Vehicle Integrative Testing and Demonstration Zone opened on Friday. 

It is the first project opened after Lingang expanded Shanghai’s FTZ.

So far, the testing and demonstration zone has built 26.1 kilometers of road for open air testing, 3 square kilometers of space for tunnel testing and a data center.

Gu Changshi from the Lingang Special Area said compared with other driverless vehicle testing areas, Lingang has better road conditions and more space which allows more simulations to be tested.

More than 10 companies focusing on autos and artificial intelligence have set up research centers and plants in the zone.

On the opening ceremony of the zone, different types of driverless cars were showcased. Some of them took visitors on a demonstration tour.

A Shanghai Daily reporter hopped in a driverless minivan which is designed to serve as a community bus.

Though a driverless car, a safety supervisor was still sitting behind the steering wheel so that he could change the car to manual mode in case of an emergency.

“We are now able to simulate rainy and foggy days,” said Yu Feng, an engineer from Lingang. “The traffic lights in the demonstration area are also connected with the car.”

The bus was driving itself quite cautiously, as it suddenly braked twice: once for a man standing beside the road and the other time for a little ponding area in front of the bus.

“The driverless technology is still like a baby, there is more we have to learn,” Yu explained. “You can never be too careful.”

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