New self-driving truck unveiled in China

Xinhua News Agency | Sep 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM

BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's state-owned truck manufacturer First Automotive Works Jiefang Co. Ltd (FAW Jiefang) recently rolled out a self-driving heavy-duty truck J7.

The L3 self-driving truck, jointly developed by FAW Jiefang and PlusAI, an artificial intelligence startup in California, will lay the foundation for the L4 version, expected to be put into commercial operation in 2023, according to the company.

L3 automation only conditionally allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road at low speeds, while L4 refers to a higher level of automation that generally requires no human involvement or oversight.

Equipped with seven cameras, five millimeter wave radars and one lidar, as well as an autopilot system, J7 is capable of automatic overtaking, lane changing, lane centering, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, obstacle avoidance and other maneuvers.

The autonomous truck will be manufactured on a massive scale and generate large amounts of data at a low cost during real operations to feed its L4 algorithm. With continuous autonomous learning and Over-the-Air (OTA) technology upgrade, the L4 self-driving truck will be put into commercial operation in 2023.

The cooperation will speed up the upgrade of "smart" trucks and contribute to China's intelligent automobile industry chain and intelligent transportation system, said Hu Hanjie, chairman of FAW Jiefang.