Baidu Driverless Car Incident in China Sparks Social Media Debate

In Beijing, a driverless car operated by the Chinese technology giant Baidu collided with a pedestrian. Social media reactions have largely favored Baidu, attributing blame to the pedestrian for allegedly crossing against a red light.

Baidu clarified that the incident occurred when the vehicle moved forward upon a green light and lightly bumped into the pedestrian. The pedestrian was subsequently hospitalized but was found to have no significant external injuries.

Experts commenting on the incident noted the challenges autonomous vehicles face in complex urban scenarios, particularly in dealing with unconventional behavior such as jaywalking. Photos circulating online depict the scene, showing sensors mounted on the driverless car’s roof.

Baidu X profile

Baidu, renowned for its advancements in AI and based in Beijing, operates the Apollo Go autonomous driving platform. The incident took place in Wuhan, where Baidu runs its largest fleet of “robotaxis,” totaling 300 cars. The company has also expanded its operations to limited areas in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Chongqing.

Recently, Baidu launched the sixth generation of its driverless taxis, boasting significant cost reductions to less than $30,000 per unit. This development is part of Baidu’s broader strategy to lead in autonomous driving technology within China.

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