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Southwestern province ropes in experts for technological advances, breakthroughs in driverless vehicles ahead of key road tests

Author:gzstcj  From:CHINA DAILY Time:2018-03-19 Browse:  Size: Big Middle Small

A group of engineers and experts in autonomous driving and deep learning joined forces in Guiyang, Guizhou province on Friday to build two driverless vehicles and test them on the road.

The move marks a milestone for Guizhou in its bid to gather expertise and resources related to driverless vehicles to spur innovation for economic development.

Up to 30 engineers from 12 countries and regions including Canada, the United States, Singapore and Japan will join hands at the Move-it Hackathon, a cooperation camp focusing on driverless cars, to co-develop such vehicles this week.

"We are exploring a brand-new way of developing, manufacturing and applying cars and we called for global engineers to improve related technologies together," said Li Yaling, general manager of Move-it, a local shared platform and one of the initiators of the camp.

The move came as China calls for more efforts to develop advanced manufacturing and promote further integration of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.

In line with the country's rapid development of advanced manufacturing, Guizhou has pushed forward innovation of cutting-edge technologies to promote economic transformation.

Nestled in a mountainous region, it has been transformed in the past three years into an innovation hub as major global companies, such as Apple Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hyundai Motor Group, flocked to the area.

"To develop autonomous driving, Guizhou is competitive in its favorable policies, abundant resources and low costs," said Weng Wei, executive director of Velodyne Lidar, a US lidar company.

"It is a challenge for companies to develop driverless cars in Guizhou since it is a hilly area. However, it will not be a big problem with the help of advanced technologies," he added.

The newly established program will be located in the intelligent manufacturing factory of FlexBot, an initiator of the activity and a local drone company.

Yu Chuan, CEO of FlexBot, said:"We used to focus on drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, and this has brought us some knowledge of technologies used in doing unmanned projects."

"We hope that this activity will help to solve some common problems in autonomous driving through cooperating and sharing, which furthermore will lower the threshold of developing such cars," Yu said.

The company added that they will test autonomous driving this year and will endeavor to start commercialization in 2019.

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