Another Small Step For Autonomy: Shenzhen Proposes Special License Plates For Self-Driving Vehicles

We're moving one step closer to autonomy in China…

Southern China city Shenzhen is on the verge of granting special license plates for self driving vehicles, which would mark the first such instance in China, according to Caixin.

It is a step that will help "promote commercialization of self-driving vehicles, such as their use as taxis, instead of being limited to tests," experts said. It's one small step toward widespread adoption, as autonomous vehicles aren't currently legal in the province. 

The proposed regulation will be sent for approval by the Standing Committee of Shenzhen People’s Congress at the end of June.

Xiao Jianxiong, founder of Shenzhen-based self-driving company Autox Technologies Inc., says the highlight of the regulation is the issuance of special license plates. 

If the regulation passes, the "Shenzhen government will issue a list of ICVs that can be sold, driven on roads and used for transportation business," the report says.

There's currently no national standards on self driving vehicles in China. Since Shenzhen is a special economic zone, it has more leeway to legislate than most other provinces in China. This would make it an obvious starting point for regulations that may wind up eventually spreading across the country – not unlike how California can often lead nationwide regulation in the U.S.

Xiao says that the number of self driving cabs could reach 50,000 by 2023 in China. So far, in Shenzhen, there are only a "few hundred" self-driving cabs. 

June 19, 2021 8:00 pm

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