China Temporarily Stops Autonomous Car Testing On Highways

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China wants to get ahead in the field of self-driving vehicles, but its regulators want it to be done safely.
Shortly after announcing the creation of a dedicated test zone for self-driving vehicles, Chinese authorities have decided provisionally to ban testing of autonomous cars on its highways.

Some believe the ban is related to the fatal Tesla Model S accident that took place in May in the USA, but Chinese authorities have a different explanation.

As Bloomberg notes, China wants to have a legal basis for autonomous car technology. The world’s largest car market has announced this intention with the opening of the first test site for driverless vehicles on its territory.

With the existence of the dedicated space, automakers will still be able to test their new developments in the field of autonomous cars, but regular drivers will not be at risk because of potentially dangerous vehicles that can drive themselves.

Meanwhile, Chinese regulators are working on a draft and also a final version of its first laws regarding autonomous cars. It is assumed that the country will have a strong focus on the safety of its residents, so the new rules should involve several systems that will prevent a potential accident with self-driving cars.

As previously reported, China might force automakers to have a second autonomous drive system in each vehicle. The measure would be a fail safe, which would only take action if the primary system fails.

In an ideal world, the secondary autonomous drive system would never have to be used, but automakers need to exercise additional care for these vehicles and their passengers, as an incident with a driverless car could be harmful to the concept of the technology, no matter who manufactures and sells the driverless cars.

According to reports, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have already completed a draft using input from the police, but the final set of rules is still weeks away from today.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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