China has built its first research and development test base for autonomous ships in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai next to Macao, state-owned newspaper Economic Daily reported.
The test base named Xiangshan Marine Scientific & Technological Port is located in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. It will create an innovation platform for the design, research and testing of unmanned marine systems and intelligent equipment.
The base will help develop the industrial chain of unmanned ships and foster research on advanced equipment manufacturing as well as new generation of information technology.
Backed by local unicorn Zhuhai Yun Zhou Intelligent Technology, it is expected to go into operation at the end of the year, the report said.
It will specifically focus on the layout of unmanned ships and the marine intelligent equipment industry chain, as well as developing advanced equipment manufacturing based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other smart technologies.
Zhang Jinghua, an officer at the Zhuhai National High-Tech Industrial Development District where the base is located, said it will help the Chinese government to promote the technology and innovation required to develop the marine economy in the Greater Bay Area, a densely populated group of southern port cities that include Guangzhou, Macao, and Hong Kong.
The base will occupy an area of 32,000 square meters and will include laboratories, test pools, a docking berth and sea trial area.