mardi 1 octobre 2019

Baidu Number One: 1st Chinese Company to Get Licence for Self Driving Buses

Baidu More than The Google of China

The search Engine

Baidu is the number one Chinese search engine and is widely used by Chinese population to look for information from products/company reviews to various society topics.
Not unlike its western counterpart google, Baidu has developed its own ecosystem, it has its own quora know as Baidu Zhidao (baidu knows), its own Wikipedia: Baike, its own forum with Baidu Tieba.

In the same way google does, it has an ads systems. Baidu search engine is highly specialized. It supports only mandarin and it is extremely hard for a website not hosted in or near China to rank. It is even harder to rank if the content of a website is not in Mandarin. 
To anyone that is interested in learning more about Baidu search engine, check out this well written article :

Baidu AI development

But today's post is not about Baidu being a search engine but the other activity's of the group. Baidu, in one of the biggest group in China, alongside Alibaba (Jack Ma with Taobao and Tmall) and Tencent (Wechat). This tree are often mentioned together as BAT (Baidu Alibaba Tencent).
In terms of communication, banking and finance, Alibiba and Tencent have clearly won the fight. However, this time around Baidu that has been investing heavily in AI development as won the battle. Indeed, the group is the first one in China to get a licence for self driving buses.

Check out more about these buses here :

The buses will be operated via 5G (check out more about the launch of 5G in China and the race to be first) in the city of Wuhan.
Following this, many companies got approval for launching and everywhere across China, self-driving vehicles are popping.

Self drive Vehicles: The beginning of crises for taxi and buses drivers?

My question to this is the following: What will be the impact on the society? I can already see pros and cons
for a start less accidents, better services for consumers
Cons: in the long run, are this vehicles going to totally replace the existing system of taxi, didi and man drove buses or are they going to coexist just like taxi and didi are doing now?

Let me know in the comments section what are your thoughts on this