Chinese driverless car hits a person crossing against the light

Chinese driverless car hits a person crossing against the light

A driverless ride-hailing car in China hit a pedestrian in Wuhan who was reportedly crossing against the light over the weekend.

The vehicle's operator, Chinese tech giant Baidu, told Chinese media that the car began moving when the light turned green and had minor contact with the pedestrian.

Baidu said the person had no obvious external injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Comments on social media largely supported Baidu, pointing out that the pedestrian had broken the law, the English-language Shanghai Daily newspaper said in a post on X.

Chinese financial news outlet Yicai, meanwhile, quoted an expert saying the technology may have limitations when dealing with unconventional behaviour such as other vehicles or pedestrians that violate traffic laws.

Beijing-based search engine and artificial intelligence (AI) company Baidu is a leader in developing autonomous driving in China.

Its largest “robotaxi” operation, with a fleet of 300 cars, is in Wuhan, a major city in central China that had the world's first major outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020.

Its ride-hailing service also is in more limited parts of three other Chinese cities: Beijing, Shenzhen and Chongqing.

The company launched the sixth generation of its driverless taxi in May, saying it had brought the unit cost down by more than half to under $30,000 (€27,700).