China is giving local authorities a freer hand to arrange road tests for autonomous vehicles. The latest national guidelines for smart internet connected self-driving cars offer more freedom to allow tests. The new rules came out shortly after a fatal accident occurred with a self-driving car in Arizona (US).
The announcement of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) means that provincial and municipal governments can allow tests and only need to brief the MIIT twice a year.
While the Uber crash in March triggered the temporary suspension of such tests by several US operators, the Chinese step to allow more tests shows that China and the US are competing for leadership.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post, both countries aim “for supremacy in the next generation of technologies that are revolutionising the way people work, live and play. Self-driving cars are increasingly seen as the holy grail of applied technology”.
MIIT said foreign companies can apply for road tests in China provided they put safety first and are willing to assume full responsibility for any accidents.
Further reading on scmp.com