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China's first test zone for self-driving cars opens

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-18 15:43

WUHAN - French car maker Renault, together with local partners, has opened China's first experimentation zone for self-driving cars in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

An electric autonomous driving (AD) car by Renault will operate on a 2-km-long lakeside road in the Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, starting this weekend.

Visitors will be allowed to test and experience the autonomous vehicle in the zone, which was jointly built by the Renault Group, its Sino-French joint venture Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company (DRAC) and Wuhan Caidian Ecological Development Group.

According to the car maker, autonomous systems can make car travel safer, less stressful and more enjoyable by making decisions in tedious conditions, such as congested traffic.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the three parties, Renault provides construction standards for demonstration sites and vehicles equipped with autonomous driving technology, while DRAC is responsible for vehicle maintenance and technical support.

Renault plans to gradually introduce this "eyes off" technology on its core range of vehicles by 2020. Drivers are also expected to be able to take advantage of in-car connectivity safely when conditions and the law permit.

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