What happened: China ranks 20th in an autonomous vehicle (AV) readiness report by professional services company KPMG, which aims to determine how prepared 25 countries are for self-driving cars. According to the report, while Chinese authorities allow companies to innovate before intervening with regulation, the country has shown only relative improvements in technology, innovation, and infrastructure since last year. Individual measures for each of these metrics are disappointing: The country ranked 19th for its technology and 18th for infrastructure.
Why it’s important: According to the report, the environment for testing innovative technologies in China is “easier” than in other parts of the world. Despite this, and the large number of autonomous driving companies in the country, China still lags in AV tech development. Government initiatives including Made in China 2025 and the country’s ambitions to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030 have been heralded as possible driving forces behind innovation in the country, but China still ranked 20th in terms of AV policy and legislation. KPMG said the government sector could promote AV adoption by spending more on communication infrastructure, which will form the backbone of networks allowing self-driving cars to “talk” to each other and sensors placed on roads.