Daimler is super happy that they’re the first international automaker to receive a road test license for highly automated driving research vehicles (level 4) in Beijing.
As urban traffic is one of the biggest challenges on the road to autonomous driving, the company wants to do real road tests to further perfect the technology. According to Daimler, Beijing is “a metropolis with unique and complex urban traffic situations.”
Daimler already holds automated driving test licenses in Germany and the U.S., and has been working with its Chinese partners to push automated driving development in China.
In order to qualify for the license in China, Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with additional technical applications from Baidu Apollo (open source autonomous driving platform) undertook extensive testing at the National Pilot Zone (Beijing and Hebei) for Intelligent Mobility, with test drivers receiving rigorous automated driving training, the company said.
Also, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz R&D China) and China’s renowned Tsinghua University have formed a joint Research Center for Sustainable Transportation, and have been working together since 2012, for research projects related to sustainable transportation in a China-specific road environment, with a focus on increasing safety for all road users.
Besides gathering the data on typical traffic situations, the Center is researching on ‘vision-based detection of vulnerable road users’ (VRU), and creating digital models of the East Asian human body proportions for simulation of crash tests.