Shanghai, the bustling megacity in eastern China, is set to embark on a pivotal pilot program allowing autonomous buses to operate in its downtown area. This move marks a significant milestone in the city's commitment to advancing autonomous driving technology.
According to local media outlet The Paper, Shanghai will introduce autonomous buses on a pilot basis, initially operating them during specific times of the day and on designated roads within the central city.
Shanghai has already established an extensive network of autonomous driving test road scenarios, boasting 926 open roads and a total road length of 1,800 kilometers, ranking among the highest in the country, as per the report.
In the ongoing year, Shanghai is planning to expand its autonomous driving test road scenarios further, focusing on the Pudong New Area. This expansion will provide an even broader range of testing environments, particularly in areas like Jinqiao and Pudong Airport, as outlined in the report.
The city is actively exploring a sustainable, replicable, and scalable pathway for the commercialization of autonomous driving technology. Furthermore, Shanghai is accelerating large-scale demonstrations of intelligent connected vehicles.
Shanghai serves as the hub for several emerging Chinese automotive companies, including Nio and Neta Auto. It is also home to Tesla's China factory, where autonomous driving test vehicles are frequently seen on the roads.
In May, a local official announced Shanghai's intention to deepen collaboration with Tesla and promote the electric vehicle manufacturer's activities within the city, encompassing autonomous driving and robotics.
General Motors (GM) also obtained permission to conduct L4 autonomous driving road tests in a designated area in Shanghai on August 24. The initial phase of these tests, spanning one year, will feature Cadillac Lyriq test vehicles operating in Shanghai's Jinqiao area. GM intends to leverage the artificial intelligence technology of Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta to expedite algorithm enhancements and pave the way for more advanced autonomous driving tests and operations in the future.