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With China"s car-rental business booming, more reforms are needed to related traffic laws and regulations, tax policies and urban management, Gao Yu, a deputy from Chongqing attending the 13th National People"s Congress, said on Saturday.
Gao, 32, founded Pand Auto, a car-hailing service for new-energy vehicles, and launched its car-sharing service in November 2015 in Chongqing. With its cheap cost and convenient service, the company became popular among the people born in "80s and "90s. It has become one of the leading car-sharing service providers in China.
As a representative of the industry, Gao was elected to the 13th NPC in January. She earned a doctoral degree in business innovation in manufacturing from the joint PhD program between Zhejiang University and Cambridge University in Britain.
"I feel more responsible after becoming an NPC deputy," she said. "I did a lot of research in the car-sharing business and talked with all the related government departments."
Thanks to technology innovation, China has become a world leader in the sharing economy. More than 350 companies are involved in the car-sharing industry, including car manufacturers, rental companies and startups.
A recent research report from Strategy&, a subsidiary of PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), predicted that car-sharing services will experience fast growth in China in the coming years and fleets of such service providers are expected to reach a collective 170,000 cars by 2020.
"But some current laws and regulations, as well as a level of urban governance, have hindered the development of the industry," she said.
For example, the traffic police now give tickets to vehicles not drivers, she said, and for a shared rental car it is inconvenient to deal with those traffic violations.
"Now, with high-definition traffic cameras and our company"s database, police can easily find out who violated the regulations and directly give the driver the tickets," she said.
Also, protectionism is another problem. "Some local governments would prefer to support their local car-sharing companies," she said. "It is actually against the spirit of the sharing economy."
Pand Auto is spearheading the application of driverless technology. The company is cooperating with Baidu, China"s leading search-engine company. Pand Auto will provide vehicles and an operation platform for Baidu"s Apollo driverless technology application. Chongqing Liangjiang New Area will help select the site for a demonstration base and supply support facilities.
"We are busy working on the details and we expect to run the project next month," Gao said.
She said that with Baidu"s technology, the Pand Auto car will drive to the pickup spot and return to the designated parking lot automatically.
"It is an experiment, and the application of driverless technology needs more policy reforms," she said.