- Germany’s overconfidence in autonomous driving
- Dates for the coming week
- Hong Kong makes little progress on vaccination
- BMW wants to produce in a more climate-friendly way
- Customs warns against harmful children’s items from the West
- CATL plans new battery factory in Shanghai
- Statistics bureau revises population figure upwards
- Beijing urges provinces to meet climate targets
- Johnny Erling: Accident before daybreak
In the hectic and politically tidy capital of China, nothing today reminds us of the images and events of the night of June 4, 1989. 32 years ago today, the state authorities in Beijing took action against their own population with tanks and machine guns and bloodily shot down the protests of students and citizens.
Johnny Erling’s column recalls the massacre in the streets of Beijing and Tiananmen Square. The leaders of the CP have almost completely erased this period of Chinese history from social memory through censorship and repression. But a small number of brave people are still reminding Xi Jinping and the CP China of the violent suppression of the democracy movement in the 100th year of the party’s existence.
Only a few days ago, Xi called on his comrades to create a “trustworthy, lovable, and respectable” image for China. In July, the CP will celebrate its birthday. It will be a pompous celebration, full of patriotism, commemorating the achievements of the country and the Party. A fireworks display of propaganda, including abroad. Especially at this time, trading partners as well as system rivals and competitors must not tire of reminding the CP of its dark hours and exhorting the Party and its leaders to respect human rights in Xinjiang, in Tibet, in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Catching up with autonomous driving: Germany lags far behind
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) wants to promote autonomous driving in Germany. The way has now been cleared for him by the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, which last week approved a bill that will allow self-driving cars to operate in regular mode without a physically present driver. A success for Scheuer, no question. However, the minister should be realistic about Germany’s position in international competition – election campaign or not. Scheuer claims that Germany is “the first country in the world to bring self-driving vehicles to the road.” But that’s not all. He even says:
“We are still one step ahead of technical developments.” With the new law, he would have ensured “that Germany is number one in this.” But in fact, the resolutions are part of an EU regulation that will mandate automated vehicle systems from 2022. The goal, Scheuer said, is to bring vehicles with autonomous driving functions into regular operation next year – limited locally to a defined operating area. “We are pioneers in the world,” said Scheuer, summing up the situation.
But even a quick glance at China shows that he is exaggerating in his description of developments in Germany. Since December 2020, for example, autonomously driving taxis from AutoX have been on the road in part of the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen without a safety driver and central control – i.e. in driving mode 4. In the northeastern suburb of Pingshan, they can now be freely booked by customers via an app. 25 taxis are on the road there. They do not follow a fixed route, but remain in the district of 600,000 residents, which covers around 168 square kilometres – a lot of hustle and bustle and high traffic volumes are inevitable there.