Chinese manufacturers and Internet giants are in hot pursuit of their US counterparts in the race to design driverless cars, but the route to market is still littered with potholes.
While Google has been working on autonomous vehicles for at least six years, with the likes of BMW, Volvo and Toyota in its wake, more recently Chinese businesses have entered the race, from Internet search giant Baidu to manufacturer Changan.
Last week, ahead of the Beijing Auto Show opening on Monday, two self-driving Changan cars made a mountainous 2,000 km (1,200 mile) journey from Chongqing in the southwest to the capital in the country’s first long-distance autonomous vehicle test.
Another Chinese Internet giant, LeECO, is also venturing into autonomous technologies, unveiling Wednesday in Beijing an electric car that can park itself and be summoned to its owner’s location via smartphone.
And late last year Baidu tested China’s first locally designed driverless vehicle, a modified BMW, with a 30 kilometre ride through the streets of Beijing. Read More