China Commences Testing for the Internet of Vehicles, Mapping Out a Driverless Future

China on Thursday initiated a new pilot program related to the Internet of Vehicles, focusing on data security and identity authentication, aiming to advance the safety of the next generation technology.

The pilot will be carried across major cities and highways, and will mainly check the compatibility of smart cars and roadways including the reception of traffic signals and monitoring traffic flow on the roads, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced.

Meanwhile, the country is stepping up to build smart infrastructure for the transport of the future. One official from the transportation ministry said in an interview that the new five-year plan aims to digitize the road network and explore the use of 5G, BeiDou and other innovative technologies.

In collaboration with domestic tech giant Huawei, Wuxi, a city in Jiangsu Province has already launched such a smart road this January, Bloomberg reported. Under the arrangement, autonomous buses communicate with the road through built-in sensors, cameras and radars, and safely drive though the 2.5 kilometer testing road. A range of other cities will follow and upgrade the road network following the launch of a notice.

In March, Baidu’s autonomous car Apollo won a bid of $16.1 million to upgrade roads for autonomous driving in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Furthermore, Baidu launched its driverless taxi in Beijing two months later, when autonomous delivery vans were also officially allowed to drive on public roads in the capital city.

SEE ALSO: Baidu Apollo to Launch Fully Driverless Robotaxi in Beijing Starting May 2

“The in-depth integration of technology will bring profound changes to the industry,” an analyst from consulting agency said. Dozens of other tech companies, start-ups and auto makers are also speeding the smart car development and making bold progress to seize upon the trend.

Wang Jun, senior executive at Huawei’s smart vehicle unit, said at a conference: “Our goal is to achieve true driverless passenger cars by 2025.”

The government plans to apply smart cars widely throughout the next 15 years and will encourage the development of related industries, according to a notice.