China tech gi­ant Baidu to de­velop driver­less car: me­dia

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Chi­nese search en­gine gi­ant Baidu plans to de­velop a driver­less car, ac­cord­ing to do­mes­tic me­dia re­ports, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of fel­low tech­nol­ogy firm Google.

Sev­eral Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy firms, in­clud­ing e-com­merce com­pany Alibaba and WeChat mes­sag­ing app provider Ten­cent, have an­nounced plans for cars, shak­ing up the tra­di­tional in­dus­try in the world’s largest auto mar­ket.

Baidu will work with a yet un- known auto man­u­fac­turer to in­tro­duce a driver­less car by the end of this year, Wang Jin, a vice pres­i­dent of the com­pany, was quoted by the Bei­jing-based Eco­nomic Ob­server as telling a con­fer­ence on Sun­day.

Baidu has pre­vi­ously worked on “semi-au­ton­o­mous” cars with Ger­man au­tomaker BMW.

Google of the United States is also de­vel­op­ing a driver­less car and has said it plans to test it on public roads this year around its head­quar­ters in Cal­i­for­nia.

Alibaba is plan­ning an “In­ter­net car” that would use tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide a bet­ter driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing e-com­merce, dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment, map and com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.

Ten­cent also has plans for an In­ter­net-con­nected car, while Chi­nese video stream­ing plat­form Letv plans an elec­tric ve­hi­cle.

But an­a­lysts say de­tails of the au­to­mo­tive vi­sions of Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy firms re­main vague, and com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion is un­likely.

Baidu’s an­nounce­ment fol­lows a se­ries of scan­dals.

The com­pany was banned from com­pet­ing in an in­ter­na­tional ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence com­pe­ti­tion next year af­ter it was dis­cov­ered that a team of re­searchers cheated this year.

And last month it said it had launched anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tions into an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of its own em­ploy­ees af­ter re­ports three depart­ment heads were be­ing probed.

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