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  Matt Tsien, president of GM's China operations
China should consider U.S., Europe vehicle connectivity standard, GM says
Bloomberg | 2016/11/4

China should consider adopting the wireless communication standards developed in the U.S. and Europe for vehicle connectivity because the technology is mature and commercially available, rather than wait for development of an alternative standard, according to General Motors.

GM has been developing DSRC, short for Dedicated Short Range Communications, for the past decade. China's Ministry of Industry and Information has conducted traffic management trials using a competing mobile standard. In February, a research unit of the ministry started a project to develop patents.

At stake is dominance of the technology that will enable the adoption of autonomous driving, estimated to grow to 38 million units in annual sales by 2035. China wants one in two vehicles on its roads to be equipped with computer-assisted collision avoidance by the end of the decade. 

China also will aim for 10 to 20 percent of vehicles to be highly autonomous by 2025, and for 10 percent of cars to be fully self-driving in 2030.

"It is kind of a chicken-or-egg problem" when it comes to developing vehicle-to-everything connectivity, Matt Tsien, president of GM's China operations, told reporters in Shanghai. "It cannot achieve the efficiency if it's just us alone doing it. We need to achieve considerable scale and that's dependent on a set of communication standards."

GM has worked with other companies to establish the DSRC standards in the United States and Europe for more than a decade. Now the company is working with Tsinghua University and Changan Automobile to introduce the technology to China. 

Huawei Technologies Co. and China Datang Corp. are among those companies pushing for a mobile network-based LTE-V standard.

Competing standards
"It is hard for DSRC to become a standard in China because Chinese companies have dominated the industry based on LTE-V standards but have nothing for DSRC," said Dai Yifan, a director at Tsinghua University's Suzhou Automotive Research Institute.

"That's a disappointment for foreign companies, since no one would be happy to toss away the fruits of so many years of hardwork and investment."

GM won't introduce in China the connectivity-enabled Cadillac CTS, to be launched in the U.S. next year, until the decision on the technology standard is made, Tsien said.

The automaker showed eight safety applications based on the technology in Shanghai on Thursday. In the demonstration, a Cadillac ATS-L sent beeping warnings to drivers to avoid frontal collision and prevent a crash at intersections.

"GM has been working on V2X technology for more than a decade and the DSRC technology is ready for the market," Tsien said. "The Chinese government is willing to learn and study what technology and standards are adopted in other countries, and they will also take the trend of technology advancement into consideration. But we have no idea whether China will adopt the same standards as Europe and the U.S. do."

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