Chinese authorities are so pleased with the progress of self-driving robotaxis that the government is putting the nation on the world’s “frontier” of autonomous vehicles, The Washington Post reported.
Chinese domestic automakers are pioneering this technology. Although there are obstacles they must face, Chinese officials have confidence in the technology, and believe that in some case the cars will rival those in the West.
This is called what the reporters refer to as the “autonomous car revolution,” and all of the automakers are taking advantage of China’s advantage in the race to develop and introduce autonomous technology to the U.S. market. The signs were even more evident at the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Nissan demonstrated the speed and efficiency of the car by traveling from Paris to Berlin on the French Autobahn. Without human input, cars drove at more than 130 mph, with a minimum automated speed limit of 93 mph. A second Nissans progressed along German and Belgian highways, with no human intervention at all.
But robotic car development is complicated by the requirements of China’s rules for vehicle testing. The cars must perform smoothly in tricky weather conditions, and navigate surroundings where human error is common.
“There is a lot of technological improvements, and cost-cutting strategies,” said Alan Holover, vice president of NuTonomy, the company that is developing a car-sharing service that uses self-driving robo-taxis. “It’s moving pretty quickly.”