Home Baidu wants you to tour China by autonomous car

Baidu wants you to tour China by autonomous car

Visitors to Wuzhen, a scenic town close to Shanghai, may be able to book an autonomous car ride from their hotel to various tourist spots in the near future.

The autonomous cars will be supplied by Baidu, the Chinese search giant that has been working on self-driving for two years now. It announced a partnership with Wuzhen Tourist Co. to research viable routes for autonomous cars and the number of cars needed.

See also: Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda lead the autonomous car race

Wuzhen is starting to become another tech hub inside China, due to recent modernization of IT infrastructure in the town. It became the permanent host of China’s World Internet Conference in 2014.

Baidu and Wuzhen Tourist Co. did not say when the research would be completed and did not give a potential launch date.

They plan to test its autonomous cars in ten locations. It has already announced Wuhu City and an industrial park in Shanghai as two of the locations, with Wuzhen being the third city revealed.

Baidu car efforts also have a Silicon Valley footprint

Outside of China, Baidu has set up a self-driving lab in Silicon Valley and tests its cars in the United States. We suspect that the company wants to compete for autonomous partnerships outside of China too, potentially making its brand more commonly known to Westerners.

Baidu said it wants to commercialize autonomous cars by 2018, a bit earlier than some of the Western rivals that see 2020-2022 as the launch period.

In China, Baidu faces increasing competition in the autonomous car market. LeEco has announced plans to launch an electric, autonomous car, and rivals Alibaba and Tencent are both scoping out the market.

Even with all of this interest from major companies, people in China are uninterested in autonomous cars. Only nine percent have a positive view of the technology, according to a survey by J.D. Power and Tencent Auto, compared to 18 percent in the United States.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.