One of the obstacles to the development of autonomous vehicles is regulation. But Shenzhen, a large city in Southern China, has just made a policy breakthrough for the use of autonomous vehicles in their region.
The Shenzhen city parliament passed a local regulation on smart connected vehicles, which will take effect on August 1.
This is China’s first regulation on the management of smart connected vehicles, allowing registered vehicles to be driven on the road.
The regulations divide autonomous driving into three types: conditionally automatic driving, highly automated driving and fully automatic driving.
Cars with conditional automatic driving and highly automatic driving must have manual driving mode.
A fully automatic driving car may not have a manual driving mode and appropriate device, and may not be equipped with a driver.
Fully automatic cars without a driver or having L3 level of autonomous capability can only be used in pre-defined areas.
Under the regulation, autonomous vehicles must include external indicator lights when driving in autonomous driving mode to provide clear safety warnings to other vehicles and pedestrians on the road.
Li Auto’s Li L9, which was launched on June 21, is already equipped with an autonomous driving indicator light.
The regulation also describes the driver’s obligation to take over:
The driver must take over the vehicle immediately when the automated driving system makes a request.
The regulation also explains the division of responsibilities in the event of a traffic accident:
If a traffic accident occurs during the driverless period and the responsibility is on the side of the vehicle, the owner or manager of the vehicle must bear the responsibility.
The regulation is expected to encourage companies to accelerate the development and use of their autonomous driving technology.