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Baidu’s self-drive buses enter ‘mass production’

In Others, Technology

One of China’s biggest technology companies has declared it has begun mass production of a self-driving bus.

Baidu made the announcement after building its 100th Apolong vehicle at its factory in the country’s south-eastern Fujian province.

It said the vehicles would initially be put to commercial use within Chinese cities but added it was also targeting foreign markets.

The company is one of several competing to sell “level-4 autonomy” buses.

The classification – set by the transport engineering body SAE International – refers to highly automated driving systems that can cope with most driving conditions, even if a human fails to respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

It is one step below the maximum level-5 tier, which extends to all driving scenarios, including dirt roads and unusual weather conditions.

Baidu’s chief executive, Robin Li, detailed its plans at the company’s annual artificial intelligence developer conference in Beijing.

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