China to build expressway for autonomous vehicles

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Authorities in east China's Zhejiang Province have confirmed they will build the country's first expressway that incorporates support for autonomous vehicles, reports Science and Technology Daily.

Linking Zhejiang's northern cities of Hangzhou, Shaoxing, and Ningbo, the plans call for the expressway to be completed by the start of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Technology that supports the use of fully autonomous vehicles will be incorporated into the expressway. The main idea is to build a comprehensive sensing system that links the driver, the vehicle, and the road, providing operational monitoring and early warning of hazards, according to Ren Zhong, deputy director of the Zhejiang Province transportation department.

A cloud-based control platform will be built to intelligently manage vehicles on the road. It is believed that the number of expressway accidents can be reduced by providing precise positioning data to car autopilots. These technologies reportedly have the potential to increase average vehicle speed by 20 to 30 percent. At this point, no maximum speed limit has been set for the expressway.

The expressway will also incorporate facilities to support the use of electric cars, including solar powered plug-in charging stations. In the long run, the goal is to allow drivers to recharge their cars using mobile wireless charging technology.

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