Robotaxis are passé. Unmanned aerial vehicles are a crowded space. Self-guided ships seem like the next natural frontier of development in autonomous vehicles – and one in which Zhuhai appears determined to take the lead.
The country’s first unmanned ship R&D and testing base, the Xiangshan Marine Science and Technology Port, was officially completed recently and is expected to open before the end of the year. According to Nanfang Daily, the base will become a “public technology service and innovation incubation platform” for the design, research and development of marine-based unmanned systems and intelligent equipment.
The new base is part of the city’s High-tech Industrial Development Zone, and will play an important role in the development of the entire Greater Bay Area’s marine industry, pulling in talents and investment from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
The project’s co-founders, Zhang Yunfei and Cheng Liang, both graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In 2010, they established the Zhuhai Yunzhou Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd and have been steadily working toward the goal of establishing the new base. So far, it has received RMB100 million of investment into laboratories, test sites and various R&D equipment.
“At present, we have carried out extensive scientific research cooperation with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Macau,” Zhang was quoted as saying. “In the future, we will establish a joint laboratory and collaborative innovation center with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology at the unmanned ship base.”
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