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City emerges as automobile hub

By Wang Jing | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-07 10:03
Visitors learn about the internet of vehicles technology during the 2018 World Internet of Things Exposition held in Wuxi. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Cars of the future will communicate with each other over the internet, and Wuxi, a city in East China's Jiangsu province, is set to be at the center of this exciting new "internet of vehicles" industry - at least, that is the idea behind China's first internet of vehicles pilot area approved for the city in May.

The idea to develop Wuxi as a hub for the industry has been in the works for some time.

Back in 2017, it was announced that tech giants China Mobile and Huawei would work together with local authorities to implement the world's first city-level LTE-V2X application project.

The project will be implemented at 211 intersections throughout Wuxi's urban area, Taihu Lake New Town, Wuxi's high-speed railway stations, the airport, and five viaducts. It will serve 100,000 vehicles in the city.

V2X - also known as "vehicle-to - everything" - wireless communication technology allows real-time data transfers between a vehicle and any entity that it needs to communicate with.

Wuxi officials have said that the LTE-V2X project is expected to cover the whole city by the end of 2019, and in 2020, Wuxi is expected to become China's first V2X industrial center. Provincial authorities also have plans to promote the industry throughout Jiangsu.

The Wuxi government has been enthusiastic about developing IoV technologies, with a number of tests already having been conducted in the city, said Chen Shanzhi, vice-president of Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group, explaining why Wuxi was chosen as the pilot zone.

In 2017, Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group, in partnership with Huawei, proposed the first internationally recognized standard for LTE-V2X to be approved by The 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a group responsible for defining telecommunications standards.

Hou Xinhai, chief information officer of Ford China, has his own ideas about why Wuxi was chosen to pilot the new technology.

"Wuxi was the first city (in China) to fully prepare for the development of the internet of vehicles, with a focus on cellular vehicle-to-everything technology," he said.

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