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As we all know that the US is making slow but steady progress toward an autonomous future, China is fast-tracking plans to get self-driving vehicles on the road. And one of the chief forces behind this revolution is an engineer who recently worked at Google competitor Intel.
Gansha Wu, who left a 16-year career with Intel Labs China to launch an autonomous vehicle startup has managed to assemble a supergroup of top tech minds-including some folks from Google:
China will very likely have autonomous vehicles on roads before the US. Not only is China generally bullish on self-driving cars, with very little pushback from government, the culture is at a better inflection point to saturate the market.
More Chinese people are buying cars, but ownership is still more for the wealthy, so millions of people still need an affordable way to get around when transit isn’t accessible. And with headline-making traffic and air pollution crippling big cities-including car bans which have become a way of life -the inherent benefits of more efficient transportation methods are more obvious.
In fact, two Chinese companies, Baidu and Yutong, have already performed plenty of public demonstrations of their self-driving bus concepts .
It’s very likely that some Chinese public transit systems will be autonomous within two years, with taxi companies quick to follow.
Meanwhile, Wu’s company Uisee Technology plans to debut its concept car at next year’s CES. We’ll be waiting to see if the Uisee car is as cute as the Google car.