ZHEJIANG: Travelling in a self-driving vehicle at 150kph along an intelligent highway that offers automatic charging and toll-paying functionality on the go will no longer be a sci-fi concept in China.
A super highway, extending 161km and equipped with intelligent transportation systems to support autonomous vehicles, is expected to break ground by 2022 in Zhejiang province, its transport authority said.
The highway, connecting Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Ningbo – three relatively prosperous cities – is designed to ease traffic congestion on the highway linking Hangzhou and Ningbo, and aims to reduce travel time by a third to just 60 minutes.
The ultimate goal is to realise a top speed limit of 150kph, or even eliminate speed limits, like on German highways, said Ren Zhong, deputy director of transport for Zhejiang.
However, current highways with a speed limit of 120kph can only realise actual sustained vehicle speeds of 95kph due to the mixture of vehicle types, toll booth delays, traffic accidents and other issues, Ren said.
The intelligent highway system will allow vehicles to freely flow past toll booths, which means drivers do not need to stop and charges will be automatically billed, he said.
The highway will have an emphasis on electric vehicle support with charging piles and solar-power electricity generators.
Ren said it will also employ charge-as-you-drive battery-charging technology that will be realised in 2022. — China Daily/Asia News Network