Alibaba might be late for a festival, but will never be absent. The e-commerce giant for the first time confirmed to SCMP it’s been regularly running tests for autonomous vehicles and is seeking to achieve level 4 autonomous capability, meaning the vehicles can self-drive without human interaction under selected conditions.
Alibaba’s local rivals, Baidu and Tencent, have been long in the testing field of autonomous driving. Baidu is the first Chinese internet company to launch a self-driving initiative in 2014. Tencent followed suit by investing into Silicon Valley-based Drive.ai, an autonomous driving startup founded by AI guru Andrew Ng and his wife. Both Tencent and Baidu have already tested autonomous driving cars on open roads.
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