Beijing approves first autonomous transport testing locations

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Self-driving shuttle vans in Shanghai cost about £21,000 to buy Self-driving vehicles could soon be taking up residence on public transport in China. The country’s capital Beijing has…

Beijing approves first autonomous transport testing locations

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Self-driving shuttle vans in Shanghai cost about £21,000 to buy

Self-driving vehicles could soon be taking up residence on public transport in China.

The country’s capital Beijing has approved the first of nine testing locations for autonomous shuttles.

The city plans to have 250 of the automated vehicles operating in big parks by 2020 and a million by 2030.

Big tech firms are leading the project, including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

But other players include smaller car manufacturers and start-ups.

Image copyright Foxconn Image caption Foxconn, the manufacturing firm founded by Foxconn founder Terry Gou, is another Chinese company behind autonomous shuttles

Testing of the autonomous shuttles is already underway in Beijing. The first approved location is Jiuquan green parks.

Self-driving cars are being deployed as a replacement for the human-driven vehicles now found on many public transport routes in the city.

The announcement comes after months of talks between Chinese government officials and US technology firms such as Google and Apple.

China had pledged to create a “shared global frontier” for technology in May, by aggressively promoting an open environment for innovation.

In a meeting in Beijing, which included the most senior officials from the UK, Germany, France, the US and Japan, the participants outlined a framework to promote the spread of cutting-edge technologies and reduce the risk of a trade war.

They also agreed to ‘cross-fertilise’ data bases to share information about the development of autonomous vehicles, like in the car’s computer systems and in real-time maps, in order to achieve their shared goals.

Volvo will make its first autonomous car for sale in China next year, according to reports.

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