China's tropical province of Hainan has issued a permit for testing a self-driving vehicle on certain public roads.
Hainan's first road test license plate was given to E-HS3, an all electric model of Hongqi, an iconic sedan brand owned by China's leading automaker FAW Group, according to the provincial department of industry and information technology.
The vehicle is equipped with four laser radars, an intelligent camera, five millimeter-wave (MMW) radars and multiple high-precision sensors, which can detect anything including pedestrians over 200 meters away, all around the vehicle.
The road test license was issued after multiple reviews by the provincial joint work group of intelligent vehicle road test and demonstration application management. It has been approved by the traffic police department in the city of Qionghai.
Ma Yingbin, general manager of Hainan Tropical Automobile Test Co. Ltd., said new energy vehicles' (NEVs) electronic parts must be able to withstand high heat, humidity and corrosion in the tropical region.
He said the road test license was issued after the vehicle completed testing in a closed test area. It needs to accumulate 10,000 km of open road testing mileage before hitting an open expressway section for testing.
Hainan has approved the use of several open roads for testing self-driving vehicles over a length of 129.2 km, covering the cities of Haikou, Sanya, Wenchang and Qionghai. A section of G9812 Haikou-Qionghai Expressway has been designated for the expressway test.