(Techworld) Chinese president Xi Jinping outlined his vision for China to become the leading player in science and technology globally. Speaking at the national congress of the China Association for Science and Technology, he said the country must be on course to being a leading innovator worldwide by 2030.
According to a post on the Chinese Academy of Science website, Xi said: "Great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong and for people's lives to improve," adding that the country and even humankind "won't do without innovation, nor will it do if the innovation is carried out slowly."
These are lofty words from the world's emerging superpower. But there are some indications the country's already well on track – here are just a few examples of technological innovation underway in China.1. Super solar expressway that charges electric vehicles as they drive
China is planning to build a solar expressway for self-driving cars and electric vehicles that will be able to charge them as they drive, according to the Chinese newspaper Hangzhou Daily.
Sputnik reports that the highway will be 161 kilometres in length between Hangzhou in the east of the country to the port and industrial hub of Ningbo just south east.
Automatic tolls will also feature on the proposed six-lane expressway, which is designed to increase the average traffic speed by 20 to 30 percent using smart vehicle management and relieve traffic along the Yangtze River Delta.
The lanes will be embedded with photovoltaic cells that the designers say will power cars as they drive, including self-driving vehicles.
According to the Global Times, the highway will also be fitted with sensing and monitoring equipment to reduce traffic congestion.
A shorter, one-kilometre solar expressway in China previously opened as a pilot in December 2017 in Jinan province using similar technology, but had to be closed down when it emerged thieves had stolen a large section of panelling. The first solar roadway in the company was opened in Jinan in September 2016.