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Chinese companies embrace innovative technology

By Chen Yingqun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-04 14:12

Driverless cars, drones that can deliver goods and unmanned warehouses are a few of the innovative technologies that big Chinese companies are striving to develop quickly, a conference was told.

The Global Innovator Conference was being held in Beijing from Nov 3 to 5 and the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business held the 7th CKGSB Young Investor Forum on the first day.

Wang Jin, senior vice-president of Baidu and general manager of the company's Autonomous Driving Unit, says that although many people use technology to build start-ups, big companies are also embracing innovation. For Baidu, the driverless car is an important project.

The company started its driverless car program in 2013 and Wang says the vehicle will be displayed at the coming World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

"But it will not only be shown there. We want to let the driverless car operate on city roads and let people try it," he says at the forum. Wang adds that Baidu's aim is to realize the commercial potential of driverless cars on a small scale in three years. In five years, it hopes to be producing them on a large scale.

He says that driverless cars will bring tremendous change to the whole auto industry.

As an e-commerce company, JD.com Inc wants to use drones and robots and is eager to develop the technology.

Zhang Chen, chief technology officer of JD.com, says the company is focusing research on an important project - unmanned warehouses. Its vision is that in these warehouses, robots will pick up the products that are bought online, package them and send them to drones which will then deliver the goods to customers, who could be in remote villages.

Zhang says that, at present, robots already carry out about 50 percent of JD's pre-sale customer service. The aim is to make that amount 80 percent.

JD.com has also already used drones to help with deliveries on four routes in four provinces. By the end of next year, the number of routes will reach 100 across China.

 

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