Self-driving car hits person crossing street against red light in China

Beijing — A driverless taxi in China hit a pedestrian and social media users sided with the car company because the person was crossing against the red light, according to reports.

The vehicle operator, the Chinese technology giant Baidusaid in a statement to Chinese media that The car started moving when the light turned green and had light contact with the pedestrian.The person was taken to hospital, where an examination found no obvious external injuries, the firm said.

Sunday’s incident in Wuhan city highlights The challenge facing autonomous driving in complex situationsaccording to Chinese financial daily Yicai. The paper cited an expert who said the technology could have limitations when dealing with unconventional behavior such as traffic violations by pedestrians and other vehicles.

Images posted online showed a person sitting on the street in front of a self-driving car with sensors on the roof.Most of the comments on social media supported Baidu and said the pedestrian had broken the law, according to a post on X of the English-language Shanghai Daily.

Baidu, based in Beijing and which has a popular internet search engine and artificial intelligence research, leads the development of autonomous driving in the country. Its largest taxi service, with a fleet of 300 cars, is in Wuhan.a major city in central China that suffered the world’s first major COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020.

Apollo Go, as the taxi service is called, also operates on a more limited basis in three other Chinese cities: Beijing, Shenzhen and Chongqing.The firm unveiled the sixth generation of its driverless taxis in May and said it had cut the cost per unit by more than half, to less than $30,000.