9 brands given green light to test Level 3 autonomous driving in China

Nio Onvo L60 03

CHINA has reportedly granted permission to nine vehicle manufacturers to test Level 3 autonomous driving systems on public roads.

This move comes about eight months after the Chinese government issued guidelines and began accepting applications from companies interested in testing their autonomous driving technology.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China has confirmed that approvals have been granted to Nio, BYD, Changan Auto, GAC, SAIC, BAIC BluePark, China FAW Group, SAIC Hongyan, and Yutong Bus.

These companies will be allowed to test autonomous vehicles on limited roads, with drivers permitted to release their hands from the steering wheel.

Level 3 semi-autonomous vehicles are not yet being sold in the Chinese market, but this testing will pave the way for such systems to be launched for individual buyers and fleet operators.

According to Reuters, at least 10 car manufacturers in China are offering vehicles with Level 2 autonomous driving systems, including Huawei and Xpeng.

The testing program will be supervised by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the Ministry of Public Security.

The new legislation also allows Tesla to start offering its semi-autonomous driving system in the country.

Previously, Elon Musk hinted that the brand might launch a robotaxi equipped with Full Self-Driving technology before introducing it to privately-owned cars. Chinese representatives were reportedly open to this idea.

However, before this can happen, Tesla needs approval to collect and transfer the necessary data for its autonomous system.

The Model 3 and Model Y are now permitted to enter specific areas in China after previously being restricted due to data safety concerns. This permission was granted after a leading Chinese automotive association confirmed that Tesla complies with data safety regulations.

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