Ministry issues working points for guidelines and regulations to go hand-in-hand with technology.
The standardization of autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems is accelerating in China, with the burgeoning technologies set to benefit society by minimizing human errors.
Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the Key Working Points of Intelligent Connected Vehicle Standardization for 2018 to promote and facilitate the development of the intelligent connected vehicles industry, and advance the development of fundamental standards and those that are in urgent demand.
The working points include following and implementing the national telematics industrial standards guideline issued at the end of last year and the development of advanced driver-assistance systems standards. Also given priority is the development of standards regarding autonomous driving. An intelligent connected vehicle standardization commission will be established with working groups on driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.
"The guideline has pointed out that more than 30 key standards will be defined by 2020 to found the systems for ADAS and low-level autonomous driving, and a system of over 100 standards will be set up by 2025 for higher level autonomous driving," said Li Wei, deputy general manager of China Automotive Technology & Research Center.
ADAS includes a series of elementary technologies that can assist drivers and vehicles to avoid safety risks. It is the first step towards fully autonomous driving.
Automakers in the world's largest car market have been increasingly involved in the research and development of autonomous driving technologies, with the vision that it will benefit society. Autonomous driving technology can prevent human errors that cause the majority of accidents, and to have the technology introduced, clear standards are needed to define it, according to Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car Group, who spoke to China Daily in an exclusive interview on Wednesday in Beijing.
"It would be good to start with guidelines, and the regulations should work hand in hand with technology to come up to a situation which defines exactly how these cars can work in traffic," Samuelsson said. He added that traffic safety is critical for autonomous driving safety, and that China can play a unique role in future scenarios as traffic becomes more congested.
"China has a possibility to take the lead in the automated driving safety field," Samuelsson said. "China could really take initiatives for it has a very strong industry besides the largest market."
The Geely Holding controlled automaker has invested some .2 billion annually in research and development with a focus on intelligent controlled vehicles and electrification. A joint venture has been established between Volvo Cars and Geely Automobile for research and development and technology sharing.
Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and cofounder of Byton, a future mobility enterprise, said the Chinese government and society are taking progressive steps including building smart cities, where autonomous driving trials could be conducted.
Byton aims to have a level-3 autonomous driving solution, which means under certain conditions the car can manage most aspects of driving, in its first production model when it is released in 2019.
"What we need to do is to minimize the risk in the new technology," Breitfeld said. "Byton will take more action in securing safety, for example through large amounts of collision tests and road tests, to make sure the car is at the five-star safety standard."
Standards for autonomous driving technology is needed not only for China as a single market, but also for the rest of the world. An open and global standards system is required for the future development, according to Francois Guichayrd, Intelligent Transport Systems and Automated Driving focal point of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Anthony Foxx, former United States secretary of transportation, said: "The different standards are not rivaling with each other. Instead of scrambling for market control, the traffic safety improvement will benefit all nations and help the market grow bigger."