Three intelligent delivery models are displayed at the 2023 World Intelligent Connected Vehicles Conference in Beijing on Sept 21. (CAO YINGYING/CHINA DAILY)
Intelligent connected vehicles are a strategic focus for reshaping the global auto sector, and mastering their core technologies in the field is crucial for China's auto industry, officials said at the 2023 World Intelligent Connected Vehicles Conference on Thursday.
Statistics show that more than 20,000 kilometers of test roads are available for ICVs in China, with more than 70 million km of testing completed. During the first half of this year, 42.4 percent of new passenger vehicles had driving assistance functions.
Beijing Mayor Yin Yong said during the opening ceremony of the Sept 20-24 conference that the city has leveraged its advantages for developing ICVs.
The capital has built the world's first connected cloud-controlled autonomous driving demonstration zone and has completed three phases of iterative upgrades, with road sections available in an area of 160 square kilometers.
Yin said Beijing has taken the lead in launching autonomous driving services and supportive policies, open public test roads and license issuance in order to accelerate development of an innovative ICV industry ecosystem.
He stressed the city will leverage its high-level autonomous driving demonstration zone to advance autonomous driving technology through a holistic approach, focusing on technologies, products, standards, scenarios and data. This includes expanding autonomous driving applications, policy innovation, supporting core technology development and promoting the growth of the industry ecosystem in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
One of the biggest changes in the ICV field over the past year is the commercial operation of autonomous driving on complex urban roads in China, said Li Zhenyu, senior vice-president of Baidu.
In April 2022, Beijing became the first Chinese city to greenlight the pilot commercial operation of self-driving passenger vehicles without anyone in the driver's seat and Baidu's autonomous driving arm, Apollo Go, was among the first to offer fully autonomous driving services in China.
During the conference, Chinese autonomous mobility startup Pony.ai announced commencement of autonomous driving shuttle tests between Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, becoming one of the first companies in the capital to receive approval for testing on that route.
Li Tianbi, chief engineer of the Ministry of Transport, emphasized the technological revolution and industrial transformation fueled by artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing has significantly affected global transportation and led to new competitive advantages. Smart transportation, particularly autonomous driving, is a leading domain for innovation in the industry.
Gan Jiayue, CEO of Geely Auto, told the conference that future vehicles will serve as highly integrated, super-intelligent mobile terminals connecting the online and offline worlds. He said the company has built an end-to-end, self-developed system and ecological alliances around chips, software operating systems, technical data and satellite networks to establish Geely intelligent architecture as a foundation.
Meanwhile, a consensus on advancing global commercialization of ICVs was also announced. According to Zhang Jinhua, secretary-general of the China Society of Automotive Engineers, the consensus outlines five key principles: embracing intelligent automobile transformation for mobility challenges, driving commercial applications based on mobility needs, fostering a cross-industry ecosystem through collaboration, expediting connected applications for integrated vehicle-road-cloud systems and improving regulatory frameworks for industry growth.
The conference also includes an ICV exhibition showcasing the latest models, cutting-edge technologies and innovative products.