China bets on road-vehicle coordination for the mass adoption of autonomous driving cars by 2025

Money pours in as China pushes sector to be the next growth engine, and both self-driving startups and their investors are optimistic about their commercialization attempts

Already the world’s largest auto market, it comes as no surprise that China also has great ambition for next-generation mobility, so much so that McKinsey predicts a $500bn market there for autonomous driving by 2030.

In January 2018, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released the draft version of the Development Strategy for Intelligent Vehicles (“the Strategy”) for public review, unveiling the goal that more than half of new cars sold in the country by the end of 2020 would have autonomous driving functionalities.

Despite the promising prospect and bold vision, widespread adoption of self-driving cars might take longer than China had thought. This February, the finalized version of the Strategy was published, postponing until 2025 the original goal to mass produce intelligent vehicles with “conditional” self-driving capabilities. These capabilities are also known as Level 3, which means a car could drive itself but still requires a human driver ready to intervene in certain circumstances.

Regulatory supervision, high cost

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