China aims to have vehicles with partial self-driving technology account for 50% of all new-auto sales by 2025, double its previous goal, as the country encourages local companies to pull ahead of the US in the field.
Under a plan released Wednesday, new vehicles with “level 2” or “level 3” automation are to make up 70% of sales by 2030. Level 2 assists the driver with steering, acceleration, and braking, while level 3 means vehicles drive themselves under certain conditions such as on highways.
China in 2017 called for level 2 and 3 vehicles to make up 25% of new-car sales in the world’s largest auto market by 2025. Beijing considered raising the target to 30% last year, but is hitting the gas pedal now as China positions autonomous and “new energy” vehicles as a strategic emerging industry.
About 10% of new vehicles sold in China during the first half of 2020 carry level 2 automation, local media report.
The new plan also seeks to have level 4 autonomous vehicles, which require no human input except in emergencies, on the market by 2025 and account for 20% of sales in 2030. China looks to expand use of high-level self-driving technology nationwide by 2035 and integrate such vehicles into so-called smart cities.
China will enact policies and legislation based on this road map, released by the National Innovation Center of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles at the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
On the regulatory side, with the commercialization of level 3 vehicles on the horizon, China is considering easing rules as early as next year to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads.
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