Manned automatic driving test run in Yangquan
The first mass road test of manned automatic driving vehicles is carried out in Yangquan city on April 28. [Photo/yqnews.com.cn]
Three vehicles equipped with Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving system recently ran on Dalian Street in Yangquan city, which was the first road test for manned automatic driving vehicles in North China's Shanxi province, according to local officials.
Compared with ordinary vehicles, these vehicles are equipped with sensing equipment including laser radar, high dynamic range camera modules, GPS aerials and long-distance millimeter-wave radar.
This can collect environmental data around vehicles, accurately identify traffic lights and road traffic lines and vehicle positions, and maintain a reasonable distance between the front and rear vehicles while detecting road conditions, according to Shi Qinjun, project operations director of Yangquan Pilot Technology Industry Co.
The sensing equipment allows test vehicles to have much wider "vision field" than ordinary vehicles in which drivers have a certain blind area.
When there is a large vehicle in front which blocks view of the automatic driving test vehicle behind, the test vehicle can collect the surrounding situations through the autonomous driving and vehicle infrastructure cooperative system, greatly improving the driving safety rate.
A vehicle equipped with sensing and positioning equipment and loaded with passengers goes on a test run on Dalian Street in Yangquan city, on April 28. [Photo/yqnews.com.cn]
Apart from smooth running and safety, the test vehicles also feature regulated driving. Passengers must fasten their seat belts when they get on the car, otherwise the autopilot test vehicles will give voice prompts to ensure that the passengers are ready to start safely.
In addition, each of the test vehicles has a safety officer at the driver's seat to ensure safety and observe current traffic regulations, said Liu Enliang, a safety officer taking part in the test run on the day.
Passengers can see the road conditions around the vehicle and know how the vehicle perceives and reacts to the surrounding environment during autonomous driving via a tablet screen in the vehicle, after they fasten their seat belts and click the trip start command on the screen.
Local officials said the mass road test of manned automatic driving vehicles will provide strong data support and experience for automatic driving technology verifications, test evaluations and future service, which is of great value to automatic driving promotion around China in the years to come.
A tablet screen in the test vehicle shows real-time surrounding situations. [Photo/yqnews.com.cn]
The test was part of the demonstration zone project of the autonomous driving and vehicle infrastructure cooperative system (urban road section), jointly developed by Yangquan city and Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc.
The project aims to gather national regional autonomous driving big data through Baidu Cloud Computing (Yangquan) Center and help Yangquan seize opportunities to develop the intelligent networked automobile industry and make the city become the first city for autonomous driving in Shanxi province.