Some people are actually giving self-driving car a try in China

A swarm of self-driving vehicles is rolling down the streets of downtown Hangzhou, as part of a trial program run by Chinese tech giant Baidu. As of May 15, 22 taxis driving with the…

Some people are actually giving self-driving car a try in China

A swarm of self-driving vehicles is rolling down the streets of downtown Hangzhou, as part of a trial program run by Chinese tech giant Baidu. As of May 15, 22 taxis driving with the new technology have been issued to the public — with a real-life first-hand sense of what it’s like to be chauffeured around by one.

Chinese state media describes the “autonomous manned vehicle” service that Baidu has devised as an autonomous shuttle service that “seamlessly transitions from car to car.” The vehicles were built by Baidu’s subsidiary autonomous driving project in its partnership with manufacturer BYD.

Self-driving robot taxis released with Baidu’s autonomous driving test. The company says it will launch the service in two areas next year. #baidu #zhengyuan #bike #byd A post shared by 政治的Autonomous Driving Project (@baidu-autonomousdrivingproject) on May 15, 2018 at 11:14am PDT

Since introducing the app-operated vehicles into Hangzhou — which are also known as “BYD Ring” — on May 15, Baidu says it has handled 100,000 rides since the trial launched. Of the 2,000 rides taken so far, 40 percent of these were drivers using the automated chauffeur services to cover the time between their stop times at the city’s five main stations.

Baidu, which seems to have successfully drummed up some interest in self-driving tech (as evidenced by its recent $1.9 billion investment into Uber rival Lyft), says it will start trials in Hangzhou in two parts: one on the Huangpu River and one by the Jinmao bridge. The second trial area is reportedly located in the same area where a number of humans held a trial with autonomous technology last year.

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