PSA Begins AV Testing in China

PSA Group has become the first French carmaker to begin autonomous vehicle testing in China.

It has announced this week that it has obtained a licence to start AV driving tests on open roads in the city of Chongqing. The manufacturer intends to draw on its experience of testing in Europe in the hope that it can adapt its technology to cope with the sprawling municipality that is home to more than 30 million people.

It said the biggest challenge will be integrating its technology with the Chinese ecosystem with special modifications to cope with the environment, infrastructure, map system and road user behavior. PSA has been testing AVs on open roads in France since July 2015 and was the first domestic carmaker to obtain the licenses to carry out autonomous mode tests with “non-expert” drivers in March 2017.

Carla Gohin, vice-president of innovation at PSA, said: “China is the largest automobile market in the world and is witnessing the boom in the development of autonomous driving technology. This marks an important step for our AVA ‘Autonomous for All’ program, which aims to provide safe and intuitive autonomous cars for all customers. From this fresh start, we’ll continuously bring our cutting edge technology to Chinese customers.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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