Aptiv tests AV tech in China
Auto parts supplier Aptiv has opened an Autonomous Mobility Center in Shanghai (pictured) and will start testing autonomous-vehicle (AV) technology there in a matter of weeks. It gives the company a foothold in China, which is pushing hard to become the world leader in AV (as well as electric and connected mobility).
According to consultants McKinsey, by 2040, China's AV market could account for 66% of total passenger mileage in the country, generate $1.1 trillion in mobility services and $900 million in AV sales.
A successor company to Delphi, which split in 2017, Aptiv has had a manufacturing and engineering presence in China since 1993. Until now, the company had been testing Level-4 AV tech (which requires no human interaction or oversight, but only within a geofenced environment) in Boston, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Singapore.
Aptiv's partnership with Lyft in Las Vegas could be a blueprint for getting into the autonomous ride-hailing business in China, when it finally takes off. Up until February, China had issued licenses for no more than 101 AVs. Baidu holds 45 in Beijing alone (the company has not revealed whether or how many licenses it has in the rest of China). The remaining AV licenses are operated by 31 different companies. These include Daimler and Audi, but not the three U.S. front runners on AV technology: Waymo, Ford and GM.