September 19, 2018 / 2:49 PM / 3 months ago

Beijing allocates more roads for self-driving vehicle tests

FILE PHOTO: Li Zengwen, a development engineer at Changan Automobile, lifts his hands off the steering wheel as the car is on self-driving mode during a test drive on a highway in Beijing, China, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s capital city has designated 11 more roads for self-driving vehicle testing, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday, to try to speed up the technology’s development.

The 11 roads are in Beijing’s Fangshan District, Xinhua reported.

Self-driving cars must have a temporary number plate before they begin tests on designated roads, Xinhua said, quoting a notice released by Beijing’s Municipal Commission of Transport.

They also have to complete 5,000 kilometers of driving in designated closed test fields and pass certain ability assessments.

Cars being tested need to have supervision facilities installed too, to upload real-time data for monitoring.

The test driver in the autonomous car must have received no less than 50 hours of training and be able to take over the vehicle at any time during the test, Xinhua said.

In March, Beijing opened its first 33 roads for self-driving vehicle tests.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu and Meg Shen; Editing by Mark Potter

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