With the launch of self-driving ride service by ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing (DiDi) in Shanghai on Saturday, local residents can now get access to autonomous driving by making online reservations for experiencing the service once approved for signing-ups.
The first batch of residents already experienced how the autonomous driving has brought convenience to life, while traveling on the 53.6-kilometer designated open roads in Shanghai's Jiading District on the launching day.
The whole experiencing journey took around 10 minutes, as the self-driving taxi carried its passenger to pass the Shanghai Automobile Exhibition Center, related working section, railway station and hotel.
Each of the self-driving taxi was equipped with radar and camera for a precise and safe driving on road. From then on, DiDi would start assigning orders within the autonomous driving area to self-driving taxis in Shanghai.
"When our passenger send an order, I will know the starting point and ending point of the journey ahead of time as well as the routes the vehicle will choose to travel. And also, I could judge if it is sure enough to allow the self-driving taxi to pick up the passenger based on the routes it chooses. [We want] the autonomous driving to fit into people's life in such a gradual manner so as to realize the commercialization," said Zhang Bo, chief technology officer of Didi Chuxing.
It has also been learned that a full coverage of 5G signals is set along the 53.6-kilometer open roads with high-precision map and smart traffic facilities.
China allowed local governments to arrange road tests for intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs), which cover different degrees of autonomous driving, in April 2018. An increasing number of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, have issued license plates for road tests of ICVs.