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Auto manufacturers have reported significant progress in the space but experts say commercial deployments could take years
The first self-driving car hit the streets of Chinese capital, Beijing, on Friday.
Automakers say they have made significant progress in the space, with dozens of cars driven autonomously last year, but experts say commercial deployments could take years.
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Self-driving car companies are still working out technical details and testing hardware in a highly complex environment, including on a bumpy grid road that changes constantly.
Once they meet the requirements of regulators, automakers say cars can be rolled out to the wider public within three years.
Xiamen Guoxuan Auto, a subsidiary of Shandong Automobile Group Co, said it was the first self-driving car to hit the roads in China.
Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding said its first production self-driving car, made in partnership with Volvo, was due to launch next year.
Zhejiang Geely said in February its AI-driven A7 sedan had gone into “safe” production, although it will not hit the roads for some time.
China’s securities regulator has assigned licensing authority for the Chinese companies to prepare to introduce self-driving cars, the China Securities Journal reported last month.
Automakers are also searching for a way to adjust regulations before mass production, to allow the implementation of usage charges in parts of the country where public transport may be less reliable.
Foreign automakers will be sidelined in the market, executives at major carmakers in China said.
“China is not a perfect stage. The regulations are not established yet,” the chief executive of a Japanese automaker said.