L3 Automated Driving Cars Allowed on Shenzhen Roads

On Saturday, the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress issued a public announcement entitled “Administrative Regulations of Intelligent and Internet-Connected Vehicles in Shenzhen,” which clearly stipulates that intelligent vehicles are to be allowed on the roads of the city after obtaining registration certificates, license plates and driving licenses.

The regulations deal with the fuzzy problem of L3 automated driving on open roads, and defines and formulates regulations on high-speed roads, urban open roads and parking areas, as well as related commercial operations. The new measures also cover specific rules and management procedures for the definition and market access of intelligent and internet-connected vehicles to right of way and responsibilities.

Regarding issues related to the attribution of rights and responsibilities, the regulations stipulate that if traffic violations occur by intelligent vehicles which are equipped with drivers, the traffic administrative department of the public security organ shall punish the drivers according to relevant laws. In case of a traffic accident caused by the intelligent vehicle, the driver shall bear the corresponding liability for damages. If a traffic accident is caused by a quality defect of the intelligent vehicle, the driver can claim compensation from the car producer and sellers after bearing the liability for damages according to law.

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The new measures represent the first official administrative document in China to define important issues such as the rights, responsibilities and definitions of L3 and above automated driving technology, so as to remove policy obstacles for vehicles that have reached conditional autonomous driving to legally go on the road. This regulation will strongly promote the development of intelligent vehicles within the wider automobile industry. It will promote Shenzhen to become the first city in China to allow automated driving at L3 or even higher on its roads.

Shenzhen is accelerating the development of automated driving. An official document issued by the city on June 6 clearly regards the intelligent automobile industry as one of its 20 strategic emerging industrial clusters. Another official document released by the city also proposes that by 2025, the operating income of the intelligent automobile industry aims to reach 200 billion yuan ($29.9 billion).