Chinese search engine, Baidu is trotting out its self-driving car in a public test taking place on public roads in Wuzhen, China.
The World Internet Conference taking place in the People's Republic features 18 driverless cars and Baidu is permitting a few lucky people to even take rides in them. During The World Internet Conference, which kicked off Wednesday, Nov. 16, Baidu's self-driving cars will be traveling back and forth on Ziye Road for public tests.
The three-day event let passengers take a short 10-minute ride in one of the cars, according to a report from South China Morning Post.
Baidu, which is often alluded to as "Google of China," has three different models that those testing the self-driving cars can pick from including:
- A retrofit of BYD's plug-in hybrid Qin
- A retrofit of Chery Automobile's EQ
- A retrofit of BAIC's EU260
Although, passengers are accompanied by a driver during the public test of Baidu's self-driving cars, the handlers do not need to keep their hands on the wheel. This enables them to indulge in a host of other activities such as playing games on their smartphones or even grabbing a bite amid the tests. Baidu's self-driving cars are not taking more than 2 miles in length, maintaining a max speed of 37mph during the tests.
Although driverless, the cars have displayed their ability to switch lanes effortlessly, avoid passersby, and stop at traffic lights, Business Insider reported.
Baidu is only second to Uber in terms of offering a public trial of its self-driving cars. Uber started offering a sneak peek of its self-driving cars hitting the roads in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to select users starting Wednesday, Nov. 16 morning.
Equipped with the company's own technology, Baidu's first commercial self-driving cars are slated to hit the roads sometime in 2018. The company is aiming to bring off mass production latest by 2021.