Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is building “self-driving technology”, according to the MIT Technology Review:
Alibaba says it has bigger ambitions than just robotic taxis. In June 2016, the company launched an AI-powered “city brain” system in Hangzhou, where it’s headquartered, to crunch data from mapping apps and increase traffic efficiency. Simon Hu, the president of Alibaba Cloud, says the firm’s ultimate goal is to produce the kind of autonomous driving that uses such data to help integrate transportation into urban infrastructure.
The common analogy is that Baidu is the Google of China, Tencent is the Facebook of China, Didi is the Uber of China, and Alibaba is the Amazon of China.
This announcement puts Baidu, Didi, and Alibaba all in the self-driving car race.