China's Ministry of Natural Resources recently released a guideline for the construction of a standard for basic intelligent-vehicle maps.
The document, released on March 3, will help improve top-level design for mapping standards and ensure compliant use of geographic information for self-driving cars in China, the ministry said.
"A top-level design of standards could benefit the development of the intelligent vehicle industry," said Pan Rong, the chief data governance at the British Standard Institution (BSI) APAC.
Pan said in an emailed-interview with CGTN that the standardization of data would enhance efficiency as data is collected based on the demand from the final product usage, thus facilitating information sharing and reducing duplication.
The guideline proposes that more than 10 standards for intelligent-vehicle basic maps should be developed in advance, covering technical requirements and specifications such as basic general application and data acquisition to meet the urgent needs of deep application of intelligent-vehicle basic maps.
The first batch of Chinese cities have applied for high-precision intelligent connected vehicle maps, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Chongqing. These pilot trials will assist the formation of technical methods and demonstrating models for the safe application of maps that can later be applied nationwide.
"High-precision maps are one of the infrastructural needs that the technology of autonomous driving relies on," Pan said. "The application of high precision data is helpful in improving decision-making efficiency of autonomous driving, which is needed by many developers and car manufacturers."
Several carmakers, such as XPeng Motors, have been testing their advanced driving technology with high-definition maps for urban driving since last year.
Pan added that the move reflects the country's focus on data as a strategic asset.
China recently passed a reform plan which includes the establishment of a national data bureau during the 2023 Two Sessions. The bureau will be responsible for advancing the development of data-related fundamental institutions, coordinating integration, sharing, development, and application of data resources, and pushing forward the planning and building of a Digital China, the digital economy and a digital society, among others.