The government of the Heilongjiang province in China has reportedly approved a pilot project to test long vehicle combinations on the road, according to the International Forum for Road Transport Technology (IFRTT).
Referring to Feng Feng of the European Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) Chinese branch, IFRTT Vice President Asia & Pacific, Mats Harborn, said the Chinese Ministry of Transport has fully committed to the project and is pushing for cross-ministerial cooperation on the issue.
If successful, the project could help China reap the potential benefits from underutilised infrastructure and create a level playing field for the nation’s commercial road transport industry, according to Harborn.
“China has the second largest motor highway system in the world, only second to the US, and it is covering the whole nation. As a matter of fact, it is too large for the present size of the economy and many roads are still hugely underutilised,” he said.
“At the same time, the road network is largely filled with substandard vehicles, often overloaded, wrongly specified with too weak engines and brakes and with drivers working too long hours. Both the issue of overinvestment in the infrastructure and the inefficient vehicles on the roads naturally lead us onto the topic of economic reform in China.”
Ensuring all transport operators and equipment manufacturers will follow the same rules in relation to the masses and dimensions of commercial vehicles could mark a major milestone for the Chinese commercial vehicle market, Harborn indicated.
“Only then will China get a level playing field for transport, where the market economy will be driving efficiency improvements and competition through innovation, good management and a high service level.”