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Intelligent vehicles blossom in China's Greater Bay Area


UPDATED :2024-05-22

Strengthening emerging strategic industries and developing future ones are major policy goals for China, as it officially pursues high-quality development. That includes the aircraft and vessels sectors, where cutting-edge technologies are increasingly being adopted. CGTN's reporter Cao Chufeng is in the Greater Bay Area to learn more about the latest trends.

Cao Chufeng in Guangzhou said: "This aircraft looks like it has just come out from a sci-fi movie. But in reality it has received a type certificate, a production certificate and a standard airworthiness certificate from China's civil aviation authority, which means it's ready for mass production, and we might be seeing this type of aircraft flying regularly in the sky in the near future."

It's the first pilotless electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft to have received these safety certificates. It may look like something far from our daily lives right now, but its producer from Guangzhou believes similar aircraft are destined for mass use and that it won't be long before they are common.

Wang Zhao, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Ehang, said: "Its convenience will make it a mainstream mode of transportation in the future. In fact, we are very close to this reality. We already have the flying vehicles, and large corporations and governments are also advancing the building of take-off and landing points."

The low-altitude economy is a sector that China is eyeing for further development. Guangzhou local government officials say the city has the conditions to turn it into a reality and that they are gradually assessing the situation to roll out supporting policies.

Zhang Bo, Deputy Director of the Industrial Development Division of Guangzhou Municipal Development and Reform Commission, said: "Currently, Huangpu district has already gained pioneering experience in the low-altitude economy, both in terms of infrastructure and policy development. We will continue to follow up and assess the effects of policy in Huangpu district, and possibly draft policy measures across the entire city based on this."

Other than pilotless aircraft, unmanned surface vessels, also called drone ships, can also be found in the Greater Bay Area. Like these, produced by China's first major company dedicated to developing them. The company believes they've got huge potential for a big market.

Cheng Liang, General Manager of Zhuhai Yunzhou Intelligence Technology, said: "Globally, there's a general movement towards replacing human labor with machines and robots. The same applies to water, and in fact robots are even more necessary on water than on land because the marine environment is not suitable for long-term human work and habitation."

The drone ship company is located in the Zhuhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, an area aiming to strengthen cutting-edge sectors, including robotics.

Li Manjia with the Science and Technology Innovation and Industry Development Bureau, Zhuhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, said: "Our policy objective is centered around future output targets. For example, in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics, by 2028, the plan is for this industry to exceed 30 billion yuan."

Both of the companies are among the forerunners in their respective industries. But they are confident that more and more developers will join them, to develop products that benefit all humankind.

Cover image: Guangzhou Daily

Editor: Pauline