Guangzhou’s very first batch of road test license plates for intelligent connected vehicle (ICV) were officially issued. A total of 24 license plates were issued, out of which 20 were granted to WeRide, a smart mobility company in China that creates leading L4 autonomous driving technologies. Until now, WeRide has been qualified for road test in Guangzhou, China and California, US.
The Operation Centre of Guangzhou Intelligent Connected Vehicle Demonstration Area (Operation Centre) was the official organisation in charge of the road test and licensing in Guangzhou. By referring to test procedures for autonomous driving function of intelligent connected vehicle issued by the National Technical Committee of Auto Standardisation, the Operation Centre arranged 13 items covering 30 testing scenarios to be in line with the national standard.
Guangzhou is a leading city in autonomous driving in China and number one in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It encourages and supports testing of autonomous vehicle with great efforts. The 20 license plates granted to WeRide reflects the fact that it has attached great importance to compliance and safety.
“Both autonomous driving technologies and commercialisation are equally important to us. In the future, WeRide will continue to apply for more licenses of road test and apply them onto different autonomous vehicle models aiming at providing safer and better smart mobility experience for citizens in the future.” said Tony Han, CEO of WeRide.
The roads for open test in each district of Guangzhou are divided into three levels according to the population, traffic condition, roads and environment. Enterprises can apply for a higher level of road test as long as their autonomous driving test duration or mileage meet the requirements of corresponding level and no major safety accidents occur.
Currently, the issued licenses are all for the Level-I road, covering 4 districts of Huangpu, Nansha, Huadu and Baiyu. The progressive openness greatly encourages enterprises to not only speed up their pace of road test but also ensures driving safety at each level of roads. Before participating in the road test, WeRide has accumulated an autonomous driving mileage of 500,000km in China and US, covering open municipal roads, extreme weathers, tunnels, highways and other various scenarios.
Guangzhou is taking a leading role in allowing road test with passengers when enterprise meets certain standards. Passengers will be volunteers recruited online. This is a significant step for the commercialisation of autonomous driving in the future.
In November, 2018, it cooperated with Guangzhou Public Transport Group launching the first RoboTaxi in China. The service has been available to the public on Bio Island since then. In April, 2019, WeRide carried out a public free ride of the L4 autonomous vehicles in Anqing, Anhui Province.
Ushered in the issuance of road test authorisation, WeRide, as a start-up with the most road test licenses plates, will focus on the stability and safety of self-driving system and make it a reliable product alone with scale-up tests to promote the upcoming RoboTaxi service.