The Chongqing government in southwestern China announced on July 29 the start of construction of a national autonomous driving scenario testing and safety simulation center in the city's Hechuan District to pave the way for the accelerated development of self-driving technology.

Covering more than 600 mu (400,000 m2), the test center aims to become a world-class test base for dangerous and complex self-driving scenarios, as well as China's first self-driving scenario identification and defect analysis platform.

The test center is considered to provide technical support and services for government safety supervision and industry technology innovation. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

Companies participating in the test center groundbreaking ceremony include , , Changan Automobile, SAIC-GM, , Great Wall Motor, , GAC, and .

This is the latest move by China in promoting the development of self-driving technology.

On Tuesday, the Beijing government announced the city's first open highway self-driving test scenario.

Several companies, including Baidu, were among the first in China to be allowed to test autonomous driving on some highways, meaning the test extended from regular city roads to highway roads.

Baidu among first companies allowed to conduct self-driving tests on highways