An intelligent transportation project with investment of 500 million yuan (nearly $80 million) is now being carried out in Hengyang City, Hunan Province, the hinterland of China. Mogo Auto Intelligence and Telemetics Information Technology Co., Ltd., an autonomous driving tech start-up headquartered in Beijing, is in charge of the project. Local media reports that “the company will provide a one-stop solution covering intelligent road construction, self-driving vehicle upgrade and smart city transportation platform operation in cloud management.” Hengyang City is one of China’s transportation hubs with multiple major highways and railways crossing there.
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Self-driving vehicle: robotaxis (Photo: Business Wire)
This could be the world’s largest autonomous driving project. With a designed mileage of 200 kilometers, it has been the largest one among all L4-level autonomous driving projects released worldwide. There will be a 38-kilometer-long intelligent road deployed and put into use in September during the first phase of the project, according to the company’s press release. By then, there will be about 500 self-driving vehicles on city streets including robobuses, robotaxis, self-driving shuttle buses and other public service vehicles providing fire-fighting, street sweeping, distributing and emergency medical services.
Differing from previous ones, Hengyang project contains much more complex traffic conditions. Self-driving vehicles will be deployed to real city roads involving main streets, city center area, tunnels, flyovers, rural roads without road surface marks and the like. Mogo Auto says that it will provide a Smart City Transportation Brain for real-time monitoring and overall scheduling, so as to match citizens’ transportation demands efficiently. This could also dramatically reduce traffic accidents or jams.
The project is a new case of China’s high-tech company taking lead in cutting-edge science and technologies worldwide. Mogo Auto official website shows the company was founded in 2017 as a world-leading full-stack autonomous driving technology and operating service provider. It has been testing and operating self-driving vehicle fleets in Beijing, Jiangsu, Hunan Province and other regions.
Mogo Auto claims that it has a better profit model with Hengyang Project as evidence. Mogo Auto could at least get profits from intelligent transportation infrastructure construction, self-driving vehicle fleets upgrading, selling and operating.