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Renault to test self-driving, electric Zoe in China

What, is California not good enough anymore?


We're now in the stage of autonomous-car development where multiple automakers are introducing projects onto roads, some of which are public. Renault, parent company of Nissan, is getting in on the action in China with its Zoe electric vehicle.

Renault will soon test a self-driving variant of the Zoe in Wuhan, China, according to Automotive News Europe. The fleet will operate on a small, 1.2-mile section of road in the city's Caidian district. Its technology will likely be similar to the Renault Next Two concept, a semi-autonomous vehicle that debuted back in 2013.

The French automaker won't be going it alone. Just like any other foreign automaker that wishes to do business in China, Renault has a joint Chinese venture set up with a domestic Chinese manufacturer -- in this case, Dongfeng Motor Company. China established this rule to give its own automakers the experience it needs to global business later on.

Earlier this year, Volvo announced a similar program, which would put autonomous Volvos on the road with ordinary civilian drivers behind the wheel. It plans to replicate this program in other countries around the world.

Renault has yet to announce a program this far-reaching, but with Nissan's semi-autonomous ProPilot system debuting in Japan, and with a multitude of US states welcoming autonomous cars with open arms, it wouldn't be surprising to see Renault's efforts expand to a global scale, as well.