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578 ICVs drive in Beijing Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone

Updated: 2023-05-29

Located in the southeast of Beijing, the High-Level Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone has transformed the city into an innovation hub, where the latest, trendiest, and cutting-edge autonomous driving scenarios are happening.

According to the latest report recently released by the Beijing Municipal Self-Driving Office, the demonstration zone has ranked first in China's urban intelligent connected vehicle (ICV) competitiveness for two consecutive years. 


An unmanned shuttle is developed by WeRide drive on the roads in Beijing E-Town [Photo/beijingetown.com.cn] 

As of this March, there were 19 testing enterprises in the demonstration zone, with 578 vehicles joining the network and a cumulative mileage of 14.49 million kilometers in autonomous driving.

An autonomous shuttle, which has no steering wheel, throttle, or brake pedal, made its debut on the roads of Beijing earlier this year. It is a level 4 autonomous shuttle. The "brain" of the unmanned shuttle can achieve cloud-based control and scheduling of autonomous driving status and information checks.

This unmanned shuttle was developed by WeRide, a company born in Silicon Valley, USA, with its headquarters in Guangzhou. It officially entered Beijing at the end of last year and obtained two road test permits.


Pony.ai launches unmanned autonomous driving tests. [Photo/beijingetown.com.cn] 

According to the report, the demonstration zone has gathered leading companies such as Baidu, Pony.ai, SenseTime, QCraft, and Neolix; automakers such as BAIC and Audi have taken the lead in conducting regular tests, and companies like Daimler, BMW, FAW, Ford, and Li Auto are also advancing their testing activities.

A few days ago, an operating system called "ZhiLu" (Intelligent Road) has officially released its 1.0 version. 

As the name suggests, this is an intelligent connected roadside operating system that can be installed on facilities such as road lampposts to provide various types of information to autonomous vehicles.


The first autonomous driving minibus for teachers is launched in Beijing E-Town. [Photo/beijingetown.com.cn] 

In recent years, the Beijing Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone has utilized the open competition mechanism to develop domestic MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) equipment and reduce equipment costs. It has also collaborated with companies to develop distributed computing platforms, gradually realizing the organic integration of roadside computing power.


An intelligent delivery vehicle of JD Logistics [Photo/beijingetown.com.cn] 

To date, autonomous driving passenger vehicles have been commercialized and serve over 1.34 million people; as a new mode of end-to-end delivery, unmanned delivery services have exceeded 1.3 million orders; unmanned retail vehicles, providing a new retail experience, have served over 2.5 million times; the zone also promotes innovative applications such as education bus lines and airport shuttles. 

In terms of improving the quality and efficiency of intelligent transportation, over 300 signal-controlled intersections have been upgraded and renovated. The daily average number of road information users exceeds 20,000, with an average speed increase of 12.3 percent.

Through the construction of Phases 1.0 and 2.0, the demonstration area has achieved full coverage of integrated vehicle-road cloud capabilities in over 300 intersections spanning 60 square kilometers, 750 kilometers of two-way urban roads, and a 10-kilometer two-way expressway on the Beijing-Taiwan Highway. 

Currently, the expansion of Phase 3.0 is being promoted. The first 100 square kilometers of Phase 3.0 will be selected for construction in Beijing E-Town, involving 157 standard intersections and covering the city's main and secondary arterial roads. 

Once completed, it will be interconnected with the previous 60 square kilometers, ultimately creating a synergistic effect throughout the entire Beijing area.