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While the public is asking, “When are we going to ride in autonomous cars?” Technology companies have been moving apace to test them on designated roads. In China’s capital city Beijing, eight firms drove a total of 153,600 kilometers (95442.6 miles) through their autonomous fleets in 2018, and Baidu, the country’s largest search engine service seen as a local answer to Google, has built a big lead.
That’s according to new data released by Beijing’s transportation regulators in their first report on the city’s licensed self-driving cars. While the authority did not specify conditions of the road tests, say, the number of instances when a human driver had to intervene to prevent an accident, namely the level of “disengagement” that California’s counterpart report asked for, Beijing’s data offers the public an early glimpse into a fledgling field.
Baidu - Kilometers - Beijing - Year - Percent
Baidu registered nearly 140,000 kilometers in Beijing last year, representing about 91 percent of total self-driving distances traveled by the eight licensed transportation companies in the city. The firm’s leading position is closely linked to its pledge to go all out for artificial intelligence. When it comes to AI’s application in mobility, Baidu stays clear of making hardware and runs an open platform called Apollo that lets third-party developers tap its autonomous tech.
Apollo has joined hands with 135 car manufacturers, parts suppliers and other car allies at last count. Its partners range from international automakers Volvo and Ford, to local electric vehicle startups Byton and Nasdaq-listed NIO.
Baidu - Batch - L3 - Licenses - Trial
Baidu was also the first to nab a batch of L3 licenses to trial self-driving cars in Beijing, where Baidu is headquartered and is the country’s first city to allow such road tests. Robocars are now testing in more than ten Chinese cities, including first-tier Beijing and Shanghai as well as smaller urban centers like Changsha, where Baidu is...
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