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China gathers pace in integrating new technologies into transportation sector


By Yu Sinan, People’s Daily

In May, Changsha, capital city of central China’s Hunan province, put into trial operation its first smart commuter bus, which is connected via the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) to traffic lights at 26 crossings along the bus route from Yuelu district to High-Tech Industrial Development Zone of the city.

When the bus arrives at an intersection, the traffic light automatically turns green on the premise of safety, thus ensuring that it passes smoothly.

“Thanks to the bus, I can sleep half an hour longer before going to work,” said a resident surnamed Xing in Yuelu district.

Recently, China’s first batch of shared robotaxis, which are operated by Chinese tech giant Baidu, was officially launched in Beijing. Users can order robotaxi service through a mobile app.

These robotaxis are completely unmanned. Relevant information about the ride, such as the starting point, destination, and speed limit, is displayed on the screen in the vehicle, which is able to decide the route according to road conditions. Human intervention is not needed unless there is an emergency.

Intelligent transportation is the result of comprehensive application of information, communication, and sensing technologies to transportation.

Unlike the traditional way of improving transportation intelligence mainly through equipment integration, new-generation information technologies including AI and 5G are expected to promote the leapfrog development of intelligent transportation.

Equipped with advanced AI, radar and geographic information technologies, the “brain” of vehicles has evolved rapidly, which gives vehicles better “vision” and “intelligence quotient” that enable them to make decisions on their own, representing a great stride of driverless vehicles.

The rapidly developing 5G technology, which features low latency and wide connection, is considered a powerful tool for pushing ahead intelligent transportation. For example, it has guaranteed accurate, reliable, and extremely quick-response transmission signal for controlling subway trains running in autonomous driving mode.

In April, Shenzhen city, south China’s Guangdong province, put into operation its first 5G-based driverless subway line.

Various fields of transportation industry are making efforts to advance intelligent transportation, from optimizing the control of traffic lights to establishing a smart platform for urban transportation.


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