Photo courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
In pursuit of being a technology leader, China continues to promote the development of various technologies. Among other things, the country is supporting the development of autonomous vehicle control systems. In this regard, Baidu, which is working on autonomous vehicles, has received the green light for commercial self-driving buses in China.
Baidu's autonomous driving division, Apollo, has said it received the rights to deploy a commercial self-driving bus program in western China. The self-driving bus will be launched in the Chongqing metropolis with a population of over 30 million. Baidu has previously conducted a limited non-profit pilot in this area. Now, the commercial bus will operate a limited 6.2-mile route. Passengers must book trips through one of Baidu's many transportation apps.
In 2020, Baidu launched robotaxi service in several cities in China. These projects are free for passengers, but require registration through the Baidu app, and a driver is present in the vehicles in case of malfunction.
Autonomous driving in China has been strongly encouraged in recent years. For example, Beijing announced that more than half of new cars sold in 2025 will have autonomous driving capability. At the moment, several companies, including Tesla, are working on autonomous vehicles.
While other companies rely on radar and LIDAR for their vehicles, Tesla aims to achieve complete autonomy using only cameras. Despite the fact that some companies have already launched autonomous vehicles, they can only move along a certain route and are not able to navigate the new terrain. Meanwhile, Tesla vehicles with autonomous control systems will remain fully functional even on unfamiliar roads, which in fact is the main goal that all manufacturers should be guided by.
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