China's IM Motors seeks OK on L3 highly autonomous vehicles

SHANGHAI: IM Motors, the electric car brand of state-owned Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, today said it is applying to China's industry ministry for product entry of Level 3 autonomous driving cars.

IM Motors, which is also backed by Alibaba Group investments, said its EVs could be among the first models approved as legitimate highly autonomous driving vehicles by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Chinese regulators have issued new policies to accelerate mass adoption of autonomous driving technologies after allowing companies to carry out city road tests in the past five years.

MIIT in November issued a notice on a nationwide pilot programme on the admission and on-road operation of vehicles equipped with L3 and L4 autonomous driving capabilities, a step closer to allowing such vehicles to be sold to and used by individual buyers and fleet operators.

Chinese media outlet Caixin reported that the first batch of models could be approved in the first quarter of 2024.
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