Jingdong, also known as JD.com. Photo: Flickr/Daniel Cukier
By the end of the third quarter of 2018, Jingdong Group had more than 170,000 full-time employees. Photo: Flickr/Daniel Cukier

Jingdong, also known as JD.com, said on Tuesday that its self-developed driverless truck is expected to launch commercial trial operations by 2020, The Paper reported.

One of the BATJ internet giants in China, the group’s Silicon Valley R&D Center has been working on an L4 self-driving heavy truck and has completed 2,400 hours of smart driving super testing on some authorized roads in the US, according to Xiao Jun, vice-president.

The Society of Automotive Engineers divides auto driving into six levels, from L0 to L5. The L4 level means that humans do not necessarily need to provide operations and the car can automatically drive. However, compared to the L5, it has certain restrictions on the operational environment, meaning it can only run on highways.

Xiao revealed that self-driving trucks will not enter the urban environment in the future. The trucks will be pulled into Jingdong’s logistic centers, which are generally less than 10 kilometers away from highways.

The R&D cost for a Jingdong unmanned truck is less than one million yuan, which is lower than developing a driverless passenger car.