Beijing has opened a total of 1,000 kilometers of roads for autonomous driving tests, with a combined total of more than 3 million kilometers tested by such vehicles, state broadcaster CCTV reported today.
Beijing is hosting the city’s “two sessions,” a key event in China’s political calendar, which the central government is holding in March. Officials from the city revealed the number at the event, according to CCTV.
In 2021, Beijing had the world’s first high-level autonomous driving demonstration area. By 2025, digital technology is to empower Beijing’s economic and social development on all fronts, the report said, citing an official from the city.
Beijing aims to have the share of the value-added of the digital economy reach about 50 percent by 2025 and be able to lead the development of international rules and standards by 2030, the official said.
In the area of autonomous driving, Beijing is one of the Chinese cities offering the greatest support.
In late November last year, Beijing began allowing self-driving mobility service providers to charge fees on a pilot basis, the first city in China to do so, marking the move from testing to the commercial exploration of this new mode of travel.
The Beijing Municipal Working Office of High-Level Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone announced on November 25 its pilot management approach for commercializing self-driving mobility services and issued the first licenses to Baidu and Pony.ai.
Self-driving travel service providers can adopt a market-based pricing mechanism and can start charging for their services on the premise of clarifying the charging principles and payment methods to passengers, according to the regulation.
Baidu and Pony.ai can now put no more than 100 self-driving vehicles on commercial pilot services in a 60-square-kilometer area in Beijing’s Yizhuang Economic and Technological Development Zone.