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On May 14, 2018, the BMW Group was given the Shanghai Intelligent Connected Autonomous Driving Test License – and thus became the first international automobile manufacturer to be given a license to trial autonomous driving in China. The current test routes cover approx. 5.6 km, but are set to be extended. The data collected during the test drives will be used to develop machine learning algorithms which can map Level 4 driving strategies (fully automated driving).

In addition, the BMW Group China has opened a new development site in the Beijing district of Shunyi , which is to focus among other things on requirement management, tests and validation and development of systems and services. China is supporting autonomous driving in the form of funding for intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs) and the “Smart City, Smart China” initiative, for which there are cooperation agreements with national and international companies such as IBM and Bosch. The Bosch Group , in turn, has been involved in the “Smart Tianjin” initiative since 2017, which is intended to explore options for converting the port into an intelligent city.