China becoming testing ground for transport digitalization: Siemens Mobility

- Jul 29, 2019-

BEIJING - China has become a pioneer for developing and applying the latest mobility technologies thanks to the country's huge market demand and efficient implementation, according to senior management with German transportation firm Siemens Mobility.

The future transport will be connected, autonomous and electric, and China enjoys many advantages in transport innovation including supportive policies, clear development plans and fast execution, Jurgen Model, CEO with Siemens Mobility Greater China told Xinhua in an interview.

He observed that China is one of the leaders in the development and application of autonomous driving technologies which have now been tested in 16 cities. "The commercial use of 5G wireless technologies will accelerate its industrial application," he said.

According to Model, the company has been serving the Chinese market for about 120 years, with a presence in seven cities and employing over 1,300 people. It set up a research and development (R&D) center on mass transit signaling innovation in southeast China's Fuzhou in 2017 and established a local digital mobility team dedicated to providing customized digital solutions to Chinese customers last year.

The company is also planning to set up a 5G R&D center on road traffic to support development and application of transport management, autonomous driving and other technologies, he added.

Model said they received a lot of support from the local government wherever they wanted to have a joint-venture or an R&D center. "We feel very welcome as an international company to invest and settle in China. The environment is increasingly open and supportive, particularly over the past two years."

"The development speed and scale of China's transport sector is mind-blowing, especially in the high-speed railway and metro fields," Model said.

China has the world's largest high-speed rail network. By the end of 2018, the total railway operation mileage reached 131,000 km, five times higher than 1949, while the high-speed railway exceeded 29,000 km, accounting for more than 60 percent of the world's total.

A total of 37 cities on the Chinese mainland had rail transit systems including metros, monorail express lines and trams in operation as of June 30, with a total length of 6,126.82 km, according to the China Association of Metros.

Model expected the metro sub-sector to continue high growth in China, while transport reliability and inter-modality could be further improved, and more transport services will be developed to fill in the last-mile transport gap.