SHANGHAI – General Motors China recently obtained a permit for its L4 autonomous vehicles (AVs) to conduct road testing in Shanghai, representing a milestone in the company’s cooperation with Chinese AV startup Momenta.
The Shanghai Intelligent Connected Vehicle (ICV) Road Test Permit enables GM to put highly automated vehicles on China’s public roads of designated test zones for the first time. They will be equipped with the self-driving solutions Momenta has developed with GM’s local team in China for the Chinese market, in adherence to all applicable laws.
The AV technology will be put to the test on a retrofitted lineup of Cadillac LYRIQ all-electric SUVs. This will demonstrate the technology’s readiness for application on production, personally owned vehicles at scale and the seamless integration with GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform.
“We look forward to conducting real-world AV road testing in Shanghai with safety as our overriding priority,” said Chris Kinser, executive director of the GM China Engineering Center. “This will take GM’s global vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion one step closer to reality in China, the world’s largest vehicle market.”
The program will start with one year of AV testing, mainly in a designated area of Shanghai’s Jinqiao District, the first downtown area open to AV road testing in a Chinese megacity as well as the home of GM China’s headquarters and the GM China Advanced Technical Center.
With a safety driver behind the steering wheel to ensure the technology is safely deployed while in testing, GM’s test vehicles will operate autonomously in an urban setting. They will experience the most complex and sophisticated driving scenarios among Shanghai’s four ICV test zones.
“The road test will help the local team achieve better understanding of China’s road conditions, traffic regulations and people’s driving habits. That will accelerate development and delivery of solutions customized for the Chinese market,” said Stanley Song, chief technology officer of GM China.
Leveraging Momenta’s artificial intelligence to speed up algorithm iteration, the test program will prepare GM’s test fleet to advance to higher levels of road testing and operation as mapped out by Shanghai’s ICV development guidelines.
The learnings from AV road testing will also benefit GM’s advanced driver assistance technologies to be deployed in China as they continue to evolve and expand applicable scenarios – from restricted driving conditions such as highways to more demanding urban settings. The aim is to safely deploy this technology while bringing real-world benefits to customers.