China has allowed local governments to arrange road tests for intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs), authorities announced Thursday.
Local regulators can decide the road section available for tests, take test applications and issue test car plates, according to the regulations released by the country's ministries of industry and information technology, public security, and transport.
The ICVs, or connected cars, are automobiles that not only have access to the internet, but also intelligent connections with other vehicles, traffic, and the environment, which will make the drive safer, easier, and more efficient. ICVs cover different degrees of autonomous driving.
Test drivers should be seated at the driver's seat throughout the test and be prepared to take control of the car at any given time, the regulations said.
The regulations also specify requirements for test applicants and vehicles. Closed-area tests should be taken first before the vehicles are tested on normal roads.
Many automobile makers as well as internet companies are investing in connected cars, which they believe will become popular in the near future.
China issued its first batch of car plates for road tests of connected cars in Shanghai on March 1. Other cities such as Beijing, Chongqing, and Pingtan, Fujian Province, also followed.