Beijing releases China’s first guideline for self-driving vehicle road tests

Authorities in Beijing have released China’s first guideline on road tests for autonomous vehicles.

The guideline applies to independent entities registered in China, which can apply to test up to five autonomous vehicles at a time. Before conducting on-road tests, companies must first test their vehicles in designated ‘closed zones’.

The guideline also requires a human driver to sit in the driver’s seat and be able to take control of the car immediately if required.

John Zeng, managing director of the consulting firm LMC Automotive Shanghai, said the guideline would be helpful for companies in the sector, many of which are already testing autonomous driving technologies in the US.

“It’s a practical move that will greatly promote the sector. It will be even more helpful if there is a national-level guideline,” said Zeng.

The regulation was compiled by Beijing’s transport commission, public security bureau and economy and information technology commission.

According to an automotive development plan released earlier this year, China expects 80% of new vehicles sold in 2025 to feature some autonomous driving functions.