China edging closer to autonomous vehicle dominance

While Western markets make good progress, how has China ensured it remains at the forefront of AV development? By Christopher Dyer

China’s capabilities as a superpower for autonomous vehicles (AV) continues to develop day by day. With rapid expansion of its electrified network and increasingly open legislation that could allow more autonomous brands to come to the fore, China is increasingly at the centre of Level 3 and 4 AV development.

The government’s 2017 artificial intelligence (AI) plan has been a critical part to this development, motivated by the growing influence of US brands such as Tesla and Waymo. Such measures have enhanced the speed of AV development among Chinese companies, ensuring players like AutoX are now leading both within China’s domestic and global markets.

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With trends shifting towards autonomous mobility, AutoX anticipates sales of passenger AVs could begin by early 2024. As China continues to accelerate its AV development efforts through legislation, standardisation and commercial support, Western markets could slowly lose their grip on the AV market. AV testing figures from the US Department for Transport show that Chinese manufacturers covered over 2.5 million kilometers in the past two years, compared to 11.5 million kilometers covered by the US in seven years. Understanding how China has been able to accelerate its technical capabilities may help illuminate where the West develops next.

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