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Baidu's driverless car demo by CEO draws attention from public, and police

(People's Daily Online)    15:37, July 05, 2017
Baidu's driverless car demo by CEO draws attention from public, and police

The personal demonstration of Baidu’s driverless car by the company’s CEO turned into embarrassing incident when his proud, hands-off-the-steering-wheel moment in Beijing was suspected of breaking traffic laws and closely watched by local police.

The live demonstration by Robin Li, CEO and chairman of Baidu, was live broadcast at the company's AI developer conference on Tuesday, as Li livestreamed how he could ride safely and comfortably in the driverless car on the city’s 5th Ring Road on his way to the conference.

However, the livestream was quickly criticized by some netizens, who pointed out that the driverless car drove across a solid line when it tried to change lanes, which is illegal according to China’s traffic laws.

Some also wondered if a driverless car is a danger on the streets of Beijing, even though the 5th Ring Road is generally not as congested as roads in the inner city.

Traffic authorities said that they are aware of the incident and will look into the case, reported the Beijing Youth Daily. The newspaper also cited anonymous sources close the traffic management authorities who said that driverless cars are currently banned from roads in China.

Baidu has been reportedly conducting such tests on the 5th Ring Road since 2005. It remains unclear whether the test was approved by authorities. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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