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KEY STAT | Baidu looks to reduce Chinese city traffic congestion with self-driving technologies

Founder and CEO of Baidu says that AI will alleviate China’s traffic congestion in 10 years.

More than 100,000 people have experienced autonomous vehicles made available through Baidu’s (NASDAQ: BIDU) Apollo project, the Chinese search engine giant’s ambitious approach to self-driving technologies, its founder and CEO Robin Li said at the annual Baidu World Congress held on September 15 in Beijing.

Baidu has rolled out test rides of robotaxis equipped with its Apollo technologies in cities including Changsha, Chongqing, Cangzhou, as well as Beijing. Citizens from these cities could book a ride from their Baidu map app, though in some places the bookings are subject to approval. Li expected that with Baidu lax the restrictions on hailing its robotaxis, more people would able to try their hands on those Apollo vehicles.

Based on the current progress, Li also predicted that China’s first-tier cities would no longer have restrictions on car purchases in five years thanks to autonomous driving technologies.

“By improving traffic efficiency by 15-30% through AI technology, the problem of traffic congestion can be solved within 10 years,” said the 51-year-old CEO.

More on this please read: Dreaming of a driverless future, but for now, humans are still in the driver’s seat

This article is part of KrASIA’s “Key Stat” series, where KrASIA picks and presents the most significant figures of the day’s technology and business world.