Automated vending cars from China’s Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone have made their way into a subway station in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. Many passengers gathered at the Shuangjing subway station on Line 7 to experience the Xinshi Corporation’s self-driving car. Scanning the 2D barcode on the screen with a cell phone, passengers could purchase a breakfast set. The cute-looking self-driving car has a laser radar on its roof, multiple cameras in front and behind, and sensors scattered around its body. While driving on the road, the car automatically recognizes traffic lights and pedestrians. Compared to self-driving cars that carry people, it is slow, but it is stable. Vendors can look for the self-driving car when they want to replenish their merchandise, and the self-driving car can also automatically travel to the vendor’s location. The location of the store can be specified by the staff, or the self-driving car can update the map in real time based on human flow, and based on past sales statistics, it can accurately determine the appropriate store location and move to it.
Such self-driving cars are more common in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area. There, automated delivery vehicles are busier than automated food vending vehicles. ‘Hello. The smart delivery car has arrived. Please come and drop off what you need to deliver.” The courier enters a verification code, opens the car’s case, places the delivery package inside, and closes the door.
Jingdong Logistics currently operates more than 600 automated courier vehicles in 30 Chinese cities. In the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area, it is common to see several automated courier vehicles parked at the entrances to apartment complexes. In addition to carrying home deliveries, the business of delivering vegetables to supermarket customers through business tie-ups with large supermarkets such as Qixian is also booming. In the Beijing High-Level Automated Driving Model Area, centered on the development zone, more than 600 automated vehicle license plates have been issued to 19 companies that conduct vehicle tests. Vehicle types include small sedans, buses, shuttle buses, sales vehicles, delivery vehicles, and multi-functional vehicles. The model area is leading the world with a cumulative total of over 15 million kilometers of automated driving distance.