Baidu self-driving tech hits road in '18

By Fan feifei | China Daily | 2017-11-17 07:12

Baidu self-driving tech hits road in '18

A driverless car named "Apollo" is displayed at the annual Baidu World Conference in Beijing on Nov 16, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Baidu has invested heavily in the research and development of autonomous driving technology. In April, it announced a new project called Apollo, which is designed to open up its autonomous driving platform to partners.

The project has attracted 70 global and local partners, the company says. In September, it announced a 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) fund to support work on autonomous driving in the next three years.

Li said Baidu will promote the building of intelligent cities by working with the government of Xiongan New Area to reduce traffic jams and improve public transportation efficiency with its Apollo project.

Zeng Zhiling, managing director of LMC Automotive Consulting Co, said Baidu's efforts are significant to the automotive industry, but more time and tests are needed before such vehicles can reach mass production and large-scale commercial application given safety concerns.

Other tech heavyweights also are ramping up to promote intelligent and internet-connected driving technologies. Tencent Holdings Ltd launched on Wednesday an intelligent electric car, iSpace, in collaboration with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, with plans to put it into mass production in 2018.

In July, the State Council issued guidelines on developing AI and set a goal of becoming a global AI innovation center by 2030.

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