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China wants self-driving tech in half of new cars by 2025

Beijing doubles earlier target as Baidu and Didi test robotaxis

Didi Chuxing, China's top ride-hailing company, is testing an autonomous taxi service in Beijing.

BEIJING -- China aims to have vehicles with partial self-driving technology account for 50% of all new-auto sales by 2025, double its previous goal, as the country encourages local companies to pull ahead of the U.S. in the field.

Under a plan released Wednesday, new vehicles with "level 2" or "level 3" automation are to make up 70% of sales by 2030. Level 2 assists the driver with steering, acceleration and braking, while level 3 means vehicles drive themselves under certain conditions such as on highways.

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