China’s push for driverless cars accelerates

In the race for driverless car technology, Chinese companies are taking big strides competing with the likes of Google and Tesla.

With the Beijing Motor Show under way, the days when the country’s domestic car firms was brushed off as mere copycats are well and truly over.

And a lot of this year’s buzz is around driverless cars in particular.

In past years, innovation might have come from Silicon valley, but Chinese companies are pushing ahead.

“There is a lot more going on in China than many in the West have realised,” car expert Prof David Bailey of the Aston Business School tells the BBC.

Who are the big players?

  • Changan: Two driverless cars drove more than 2,000km (1,240 miles) from its headquarters to Beijing using cameras and radar to complete the trip in six days – the car firm says it was able to do research on lane-keeping and changing, traffic sign recognition, automatic cruising and voice control.
  • Baidu and BMW: A cooperation between Chinese tech giant Baidu and German car maker BMW saw a driverless car drive 30km through Beijing traffic, managing a range of manoeuvres, including U-turns, lane changes and merging into traffic from ramps.
  • Geely and Volvo: Chinese owned Swedish car maker Volvo says it plans to test 100 driverless cars on public roads in “everyday conditions”. It is thought to be a significant move to establish the Sino-Swedish team at the forefront of development. Volvo is also testing driverless cars in Sweden and the UK.road-test-photo-1.jpg

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