Driverless car collides with pedestrian jaywalking in China

Driverless car collides with pedestrian jaywalking in China

A driverless ride-hailing car in China recently made headlines after hitting a pedestrian, sparking a debate on social media. The incident occurred in the city of Wuhan, where a driverless car operated by tech giant Baidu reportedly had a minor collision with a pedestrian who was crossing against the light.

In a statement to Chinese media, Baidu explained that the car began moving when the light turned green and that the pedestrian sustained no obvious external injuries. Despite this, the incident has brought attention to the challenges that autonomous driving technology faces in complex situations, especially when dealing with unconventional behavior such as pedestrians violating traffic laws.

Images circulating online show the aftermath of the collision, with the pedestrian sitting in front of the driverless car equipped with rooftop sensors. Surprisingly, many social media users have sided with Baidu, highlighting that the pedestrian was at fault for breaking the law.

Baidu, a Beijing-based search-engine and artificial intelligence company, is a leader in autonomous driving development in China. Its largest “robotaxi” operation is in Wuhan, a city known for being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020.

The ride-hailing service, known as Apollo Go, operates in several other Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shenzhen, and Chongqing. Baidu recently launched the sixth generation of its driverless taxi, reducing the unit cost to under $30,000.

Overall, the incident serves as a reminder of the complexities and challenges of implementing autonomous driving technology in real-world scenarios. It also prompts important discussions about the role of technology, responsibility, and safety in the ever-evolving transportation industry.