Though major cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have previously announced their own rules for testing self-driving cars, the country has decided to roll out self-driving car test rules nationally in an attempt to harmonize rules across the country, and to keep pace with the global rush to develop autonomous vehicles, reports Reuters. China’s new rules for testing self-driving cars have three main components:
- All cars must first be tested in non-public zones.
- Road tests can only be on designated streets.
- A qualified driver must always be in the driver’s seat, ready to take over control.
Announcing the new rules, Xin Guobin, the vice minister of the Ministry of Industry of Information Technology, said that the recent crashes in the United States involving Tesla and Uber have ensured that China will make self-driving car safety a top priority:
“To ensure the safety of road tests, we will not only require that road tests take place on prescribed streets, but also that the test driver sits in the driver position throughout, monitoring the car and the surrounding environment, and ready to take control of the car at any time. This is a lesson that we have learned from the accidents faced by Uber and Tesla.”