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Business · TMT
Baidu looks to profit in self-parking technology
2019/07/05 06:24:58

Jul 05, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Baidu, China's search engine giant, looks to reaping profit from self-parking technology, an early stage autonomous-driving technology. CEO Robin Li demonstrated a "valet parking" service during an annual conference held by the tech giant on Wednesday.

Li’s demonstration shows that with the "valet parking" service, a car can find a parking spot by itself instead of by the driver. Drivers can also summon their vehicles without walking to the parking lots themselves.

The self-parking service is expected to generate cash faster for Baidu than fully autonomous cars, which may occur after at least a decade.

In Q1 2019, Baidu saw its first quarterly net loss since listing in 2005. The company had been investing heavily into new businesses. Meanwhile, its online advertising business suffers from tighter government regulations.

According to Li, Baidu has already secured orders from automakers and is partnering with Chinese car manufacturer WM Motors to apply the self-parking system for their new vehicles. Shen Hui, the founder and CEO of WM Motors, said that the first car model with autonomous-parking system is expected to enter mass production in 2021.

Bob O'Donnell, President and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research, is concerned about the effectiveness of the self-parking system in real life. He said that the driving situations in the real world can be more challenging than that in the demonstration. The system may cause huge problems and no one is there to deal with them.

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