China's leading automaker FAW Group's Hongqi E-HS3 was granted the first self-driving road test license in Hainan, China's southernmost province, on August 25, marking an ice-breaking move for the province in allowing self-driving car testing.

The electric vehicle is equipped with L4 autonomous driving and features four LiDARs, a camera, five millimeter-wave radars and high-precision positioning sensors that can detect over 200 meters in 360°.

A video shows that the car's roof is equipped with a LiDAR from local supplier Hesai Technology.

The license is valid for three months and can be extended after its expiration.

The first roads for open testing of intelligent vehicles in Hainan have a total length of 129.2 km, including 7 open roads and 1 highway, covering Haikou, Sanya, Wenchang and Qionghai.

Hongqi E-HS3 will be tested at a speed of 30 km/h and driven 10,000 km before going to the open road for testing.

The smart car test includes 14 major programs and 34 minor programs, each of which needs to be tested 30 times, with only three failures allowed.

FAW said Hainan's high temperature, high humidity, high corrosion and rainy environment had a significant impact on the car sensors and provided much data.

The move means that traditional Chinese car companies are stepping up efforts to catch up with new car makers, including Motors and , in self-driving technology.

FAW said last week that it is pushing ahead with the second phase of its Smart Grid Project to accelerate the development and operation of Hongqi smart vehicles.

The project will be implemented over two years, and FAW plans to put hundreds of smart vehicles into operation.

The project builder has already invited bids for the engineering design, and the development includes 52.7 kilometers of smart roads, 20 Hongqi E-HS9 L4 smart vehicles, driverless operation center, data center and scenario factory.

In the first phase of the project, FAW has completed the construction of 10.5 km of smart roads, launched 4 E-HS3 L4 Hongqi smart vehicles, and created an autonomous driving service cloud platform.

FAW has also conducted smart mobility demonstration operations and has now safely operated nearly 30,000 kilometers, the company said.

China FAW steps up efforts on self-driving technology