City to open expressways for driverless vehicle tests

From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated:2023-09-18

Shenzhen's transport bureau will open up 89 kilometers of expressway sections on Nanping Expressway, Shuiguan Expressway and Guangzhou-Shenzhen Riverside Expressway for testing of Intelligent Connected Vehicles (ICVs), also known as driverless vehicles.

In a report to lawmakers who were organized by the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress to research on the implementation of ICV management regulations, the bureau said the city has already made available a total of 771 kilometers of road sections for driverless vehicle tests.

As of August this year, the city had granted road test licenses to 15 companies, allowing 325 driverless vehicles to undergo testing across the 771 kilometers of designated roads. Pingshan District opened its entire region, piloting commercial applications of fully unmanned ICVs on a network of roads spanning 440 kilometers. The vehicles deployed in the district have completed over 26,000 orders, covering a cumulative distance of 500,000 kilometers, according to the bureau.

Based on this, the city intends to gradually open up its expressways to facilitate further driverless vehicle testing. The city has already completed assessments of over 89 kilometers of expressway sections on the west section of Gaoping Expressway, Shuiguan Expressway, the east section of Nanping Expressway, and the Shenzhen section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen Riveside Expressway. The sections, including a 13-kilometer stretch characterized by complex traffic scenarios, will soon be made available for driverless vehicle testing.

With an expanding number of test sections and vehicles, Shenzhen is witnessing an increased diversification of applications for its ICVs.

For instance, DeepRoute.ai’s L4 driverless vehicles are now conducting robotaxi services in Futian District. Automated buses have been connecting the Pingshan government complex with the Pingshan High-speed Railway Station. Shenzhen Postal Service has initiated trials of unmanned logistics vehicles at Pingshan SEG Industrial Park. Furthermore, Mawan Smart Port boasts 38 automated trucks in operation, making it the world’s largest 5G+ Driverless Driving Operation Port.

Shenzhen has attracted renowned enterprises such as BYD, Huawei, SenseTime Group, Robo Sense, DeepRoute.ai, and AutoX, all of which have intensified their efforts in the fields of automotive intelligence, electrification and internet connectivity. Additionally, the presence of organizations like the China Automotive Technology Research Center, Baidu Robotaxi, Guangzhou Pony.ai, and several others has contributed to the formation of a comprehensive ICV network that encompasses key components, vehicle manufacturing, algorithmic design, and mobile communications.

At the end of last year, the city unveiled a plan for the high-quality development of ICVs, introducing the ambitious “Double 100 Demonstration” project. The initiative aims to deploy over 100 driverless taxis and 100 driverless buses by the end of the year.

To achieve the goal, Qianhai will open four driverless bus routes with 20 buses engaged in commercial operation. Pingshan has approved the operation of 50 ICVs, including 20 commercial taxis. Bao’an and Nanshan districts have outlined plans for the commercialization of ICVs.