Chongqing Changan Automobile of China has announced that would be commencing the mass production of the UNI-T, their first commercial autonomous passenger car. The UNI-T is a “Level 3 ” autonomous vehicle which can operate, steer, accelerate and brake without human interference. Changan has indicated that the production will commence in one month. The vehicle is an SUV and though it has futuristic looks, it looks deeply “inspired” by Hyundai and Lexus. While the grille is pretty similar to what Hyundai has on offer, the headlamps and DRLs are a rip off the Lexus vehicles.

However, due to the existing regulations, the vehicle would be allowed to operate in fully autonomous mode in some specially designated areas of the Chongqing city. In traffic, with speed up to 40 km/h, the driver is permitted to take their hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road. However, at speeds above 40km/h, the driver has to keep eyes on the road. Earlier, the Changan UNI-T was awarded the L3 Autonomous Driving Technology Certification from the National Professional Testing Agency Chongqing Vehicle Inspection and Research Institute.

The Chinese national standard of Automobile Automatic Driving Classification, has passed the review of NTCAS(National Technical Committee of Auto Standardization). The process was led by Changan Automobile and CATARC (China Automotive Technology and Research Center ). These standards are one of the 11 basic standards of China’s intelligent Internet connected vehicle standard system , which will provide support for the relevant laws. The stadards will be officially released in 2020. 

The UNI T is powered by a 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine that 180 BHP of power and 300 N-m of torque. The car is a compact SUV measuring 4,515 mm in length, 1,870 mm in width with a 2,700 mm wheel base.

Changan has announced that by in 2025, cars with L4 autonomous driving capability would be launched. In Japan, Honda is also expected to launch their first L3 autonomous car this year.