China envisions self-driving technology for all private cars

In year 2017, China’s President Xi Jinping unveiled the ambitious Xiongan project. This project is a high-tech smart city project, that will be built about 100km southwest of the Chinese capital in a rural zone of Hebei Province.

The province is being created from the ground up to accommodate self-driving vehicles, drones, and a range of AI-enabled services. This is very similar to the Google Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unit plans announced in October 2017, which will incorporate robot Waymo vehicles.

According to Nikkei’s Asian Review, the high-tech smart city will be built about 100 km southwest of the Chinese capital in a rural zone of the Hebei Province. The population is projected to surpass 2 million by 2022. A model area within the zone will be designated for developing autonomous-driving technology based on artificial intelligence as well as providing support for related industries.

Much of the city’s transportation infrastructure, including roads and railways, will be built underground. Self-driving private vehicles will complement public transport systems. The government hope designing the new megacity around self-driving automobiles eliminates problems associated with adapting existing infrastructure to cope with a mix of regular and automated vehicles.

China hopes to use Xiongan as a model for future cities worldwide. China remains the world’s largest new car market, and the movement of such a large market toward automated driving with strong government backing cannot be ignored.

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