As new energy vehicles are increasingly popular in China, such functions as smart connectivity will prove crucial to the sector's high-quality development, said experts at the ongoing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay International Auto Show.
The annual event, held from June 16 to 24 in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has attracted over 100 Chinese and international auto brands to showcase over 1,000 models, according to the organizers.
"If high-quality development is the only ticket to the next round of competition, then smart connectivity is the new highland," said Wang Xia, president of the automotive sub-council at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
Statistics show that there are over 15 million new energy vehicles on Chinese roads and NEVs currently account for over a quarter of new vehicle sales in the country.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expects sales of NEVs to hit 9 million units this year, up from 6.88 million in 2022.
Sun Fengchun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said China's auto sector is entering into the phase of deep integration of electrification and smart connectivity.
Li Keqiang, another academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said high-level autonomous driving has become commonplace at such places as ports or mining zones, and work is being done to make breakthroughs in the technology's use in urban traffic.
Many cities including Shenzhen as well as Beijing have promulgated regulations that stimulate and facilitate high-level autonomous vehicles' development.
Li urged the authorities not to hurry but to be cool-headed when examining progress and obstacles in the sector.
He said cities like Shenzhen can leverage its advantage in innovation to facilitate the sector's development.