China is formulating technology standards for self-driving vehicles to promote technology research into autonomous vehicles, the minister of transport said.
"We are setting up test bases and conducting research into policy guidelines for road tests with relevant departments," said Li Xiaopeng at a news conference on Wednesday.
The next step is to cooperate with other departments and promote the technology actively and steadily, Li added.
Li said he believed that self-driving technology will bring a prosperous future to the transportation sector, but more research and development, improvements and testing are required to move beyond the status quo.
"Mass application of the technology still needs time," Li added. "Experts believe that self-driving and unmanned driving increases safety and transport efficiency. It is also better for environmental protection and stimulates the industry's development while promoting technological development."
In December, Beijing released China's first guidelines for road tests of self-driving vehicles.
The guidelines apply to independent entities registered in China. Before road tests, independent entities must complete tests in designated closed zones. Companies (independent entities) can apply to test up to five vehicles at a time.
A driver is required to sit in the driver's seat to take precautions against emergencies, the guidelines said.