China Starts Testing New-Generation Roads Sending Information to Cars

The push for autonomous vehicles is clearly gaining ground these days. While we’re still years away from the moment they will invade the streets around the globe, more and more companies are trying to invest in this field and come up with new solutions that would help their adoption.
Smart roads can exchange data with cars 1 photo
Photo: Globalvia
China is one of the countries betting big on self-driving cars, and with the help of local tech giants, it now hopes to build a network of roads that would fit this new generation of vehicles like a glove.

Huawei and a series of domestic partners are currently piloting such an approach with the help of a four-kilometer (2.5-mile) road in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province, all with the purpose of determining how a smart road can exchange information with a self-driving vehicle.

Needless to say, this road is fitted with an army of sensors, cameras, and radars, all supposed to collect and transmit information to nearby cars.

Huawei is testing all capabilities with a specifically built bus called X-Bus and whose operation is controlled by a special network in charge of analyzing all data. The bus can automatically submit special requests, such as for the green light when it needs to reach a specific station faster and stay on schedule, while the road itself can provide information like traffic conditions.

Autonomous driving is an irresistible trend, but any isolated vehicle alone can’t nail it,” Jiang Wangcheng, a president at Huawei’s information and communications technology business, was quoted as saying recently. “The only solution is to get more information from the roads."

Of course, this is just the beginning of a more ambitious project, and while China is betting big on this new-generation technology, don’t expect it to happen overnight.

But worth noting is that unlike other tech giants, such as Apple, Huawei isn’t necessarily interested in a self-driving car but rather in the infrastructure that could make such a vehicle operate more efficiently.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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