China mandates human supervisors in automated vehicles

  • December 8, 2023

China unveiled safety guidelines earlier this month for the operation of autonomous vehicles in public transportation encompassing autonomous vehicles for both passenger transportation, including taxis, and freight services.

The guidelines stipulate regulations for vehicles with varying levels of automation, mandating the presence of at least one human driver or security inspector. Additionally, they necessitate that companies deploying autonomous vehicles for public transportation hold the necessary qualifications and licenses. 

Frank Mütze, vehicle safety specialist at ETSC commented, “Driverless cars should not operate on public roads without a professional backup driver until they are proven to be safer than human drivers. No company in this sector has demonstrated such a level of safety, which is essential to ensuring that vehicle occupants and other road users remain safe during the transition to autonomous driving.”

The US driverless taxi operator Cruise halted all operations in November following a crash where a pedestrian was dragged underneath a driverless vehicle and severely injured.