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Helicopter drone, fitness day, cruise ship: China Quick Take

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Here are six stories you may have missed from China over the past week. For more details, click on the titles.

national fitness day

Monday marked the 14th National Fitness Day. New sports such as cycling and ultimate Frisbee have gained a large following in recent years as part of efforts to increase the proportion of the population who exercise regularly.

To further encourage people to become more physically active, China released a national fitness plan last year that aims for 38.5% of its population to exercise regularly by 2025.

The ambitious plan, which runs from 2021 to 2025, lists eight goals, including accelerating the development of public sports venues and facilities, hosting more games and public sports competitions, and promoting a high-quality development of the sports industry, among others.

drone helicopter

A new type of unmanned carrier-based helicopter developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China recently made its maiden flight in Poyang County, east China’s Jiangxi Province.

During its maiden flight, the AR-500CJ aircraft completed training courses that included takeoff, landing, hovering, and soft landing. It is expected to have civilian and military uses.

Suspended maglev test

China’s first maglev (magnetic levitation) suspension railway, named Xingguowas tested on an 800-meter track in Xingguo County, Ganzhou City, East China’s Jiangxi Province.

Instead of rubber wheels, magnets keep the train suspended in the middle of the notch, with electromagnetic guidance ensuring zero friction during operation.

Compared with ordinary maglev vehicle, this train has static magnetic field with zero power suspension and no magnetic pollution.

The train is equipped with manual and automatic driving modes. It can complement metro and light rail systems.

The test track is 800 m long. /VCG

The test track is 800 m long. /VCG

Guidance of driverless vehicles

China’s Ministry of Transport has released draft guidelines to encourage the use of self-driving vehicles in taxi services under certain conditions. The draft was released on Monday.

The ministry promotes the use of self-driving vehicles in transport activities on relatively closed roads, such as buses in closed express bus systems and taxis in scenarios with simple traffic and controllable conditions.

Backup drivers are needed for highly autonomous vehicles, and fully autonomous vehicles should have remote drivers or security guards, the project says.

Virtual Power Plants

With energy prices soaring amid supply challenges, commercial real estate companies are increasingly using technology to manage their needs. Virtual power plants can store energy and power non-time-sensitive devices when demand is low, to reduce demand during peak periods.

China began piloting virtual power plants during 2016-2020 and has made continuous efforts to promote their use.

Cruise ship built in China

Construction of China’s second major cruise ship has started in east China’s Shanghai, signaling that the country has mastered key technologies for designing and building major cruise ships.

The vessel is being built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). It also means that China will soon be able to mass-produce large cruise ships.

The vessel will be 341 meters long and 37.2 meters wide, with a gross tonnage of around 142,000.