Changsha, CN is preparing

Google left China in 2010, but web search wasn’t the only business it left for Baidu. The Chinese search engine is also following its rival’s lead into automated mobility, and has a fleet of 100 autonomous taxis set to take the roads of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.

Powered by Baidu’s Apollo platform, which claims to be the largest open-source autonomous driving platform in the world, the Apolong bus will be available to residents in selected geo-fenced locations across the city. The bus is manufactured by Fujian-based King Long Industries.

Apollo represents a challenge to closed AV software schemes built by Waymo, GM, and others. More than 50 partners are enlisted in its ecosystem including industry heavyweights Nvidia, Microsoft, and Velodyne.

The birth province of PRC’s founder-leader Mao Zedong, Changsha was established as one of China’s first high-tech industrial zones in 1988. The zone is now home to some 800 industries, 200 of which are foreign-owned.

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