Shanghai speeds up testing and commercial use of driverless cars

Zhu Shenshen
Shanghai is speeding up the testing of driverless cars, with commercial use on the way. So far, test mileage exceeds 13.27 million kilometers with 180,000 trials completed.
Zhu Shenshen

Shanghai is speeding up testing and commercial use of autonomous driving, including allowing more driverless cars on the road. The city will also continue to offer free plates for electric cars, the city's economy and information technology commission officer said on Wednesday.

Through a radio program broadcast online, Wu Jincheng, director of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization, also spoke about Shanghai's adoption of AI tech like ChatGPT-like services, while building more metaverse applications in the virtual world.

Shanghai is a national highland for autonomous driving, based on the number of intelligent networked vehicle testing enterprises, the number of licenses issued, open road mileage and road testing mileage. The test mileage exceeds 13.27 million kilometers and the manned demonstration application has completed a total of 180,000 trials.

"Everyone can experience the convenience of driverless vehicles as early as possible (in Shanghai),"Wu said.

For the next stage, Shanghai will start a larger scale of demonstration operations of intelligent network-connected vehicles, explore the commercial landing path, and create a closed-loop application ecology.

On March 22, Shanghai approved eight firms to test driverless autonomous driving, mainly in zones in the Pudong New Area. The driverless cars will also be tested on highways, with reliable networks with 5G, wireless private networks, and other frontier technology.

Meanwhile, Shanghai will continue offering free plates for electric vehicles, at least until the end of this year, Wu added.

But he admitted that the new EV cars bring traffic pressure in Shanghai, and the city will have to find a new "balance" in the future.

Speaking on artificial intelligence, it brings wider applications for Shanghai, Wu added.

He mentioned the integration of AI and digital avatars on social media, AI-assisted chatbots for customized services, tailored learning programs for students, and AI diagnosis to improve medical service efficiency.

New generative AI services also improves content production efficiency, like a film poster created within 15 seconds and the creation of several dozen gaming design posters within several seconds.

He mentioned boosting metaverse applications in Shanghai, like creating a digital twin of over 20 stylish buildings along the Suzhou River Creek, metaverse hospitals with intelligent features, and a virtual science "city" in the Pudong New Area.

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