In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Baidu’s Jing Wang predicted that children born today won’t need to get a driver’s licence. He said Baidu’s own self-driving car – incorporating its artificial intelligence technology – would be commercially available in three years and mass-produced within five. That’s not far off, but how many people will entrust their lives to a machine? A lot, Wang hopes, simply because it will be much safer. He noted that 3,000 people die in traffic accidents every day, with 500 of them in China, “and 93% of these fatal accidents are because of human errors. So a self-driving car can make you much safer”. He also said it would lead to more car-sharing – given a typical private car in the US spends 95% of the time parked in a garage. With more car-sharing the cost of motoring will also come down. So far Baidu has been testing its vehicles in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhu, but plans to expand to 10 other Chinese cities to trial its service in different weather, traffic and road conditions.
© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.
Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.
The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.