Gansha Wu was a veteran engineering manager at Intel Corporation and director of Intel Labs China when two events upended his world last year.
First, he listened to the veteran technology writer Michael Malone tell an audience of Intel employees that if they were too cautious they would fail. Then he attended a leadership training session for Intel executives. The trainer told them that “to be a leader is to design a future that is unpredictable and which nobody bets on.”
He couldn’t sleep at night, thinking about his well-ordered, 16-year career at Intel. So he decided to take a risk. With four colleagues, he made the decision to take the uncertain path, which today is becoming more common in China than even in Silicon Valley: He quit his job to begin a start-up that specializes in autonomous, or self-driving, cars.
In the process, Mr. Wu hit upon a rare moment when a tech sector in China is developing in lock step with a similar but separate market in the United States.
In fact, some argue that conditions in China are actually more favorable for quick adoption of driverless cars, in part because of more aggressive support from the national and local governments. And, unlike in the United States, China never fully developed a romance with the open road and car ownership.
Car ownership has spiked in China, of course. And in recent years, it has become a middle-class status symbol to own a car. For the ultrawealthy, there are clubs dedicated to Ferraris and Maseratis.
But enormous traffic jams in China’s largest cities can make driving a less-than-romantic experience. Why not let a machine built with artificial intelligence inside do the work for you?
Research done by the Boston Consulting Group suggests that within 15 years China will be the largest market for autonomous vehicles, said Xavier Mosquet, a managing director at the firm. Automated taxis will most likely lead the trend.
“It’s not that people are more willing to use the cars in Beijing or Shanghai, it’s that the economic value is much higher in China than in the U.S.,” Mr. Mosquet said, adding that air pollution could be as much a catalyst as bad traffic.
The Latest on: Driverless car
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The Latest on: Driverless car
- Amazon reportedly just scooped up Zoox, a self-driving car companyon June 26, 2020 at 10:41 am
Amazon may be looking to leverage Zoox’s tech for its delivery network, which could contribute to the company saving $20 billion a year.
- Amazon Buys Driverless Startup Zoox, Cites Ride-Hailing Goalon June 26, 2020 at 10:08 am
When news broke last month that Amazon.com Inc. was interested in buying Zoox Inc., observers assumed the e-commerce giant was looking to automate its delivery fleet. After all, Amazon already investe ...
- Amazon to Buy Driverless-Vehicle Startup Zoox for $1 Billionon June 26, 2020 at 7:42 am
Amazon.com reportedly cuts a deal to buy driverless-vehicle startup Zoox for more than $1 billion in a bid to boost its autonomous-vehicle delivery efforts.
- Amazon Buys Driverless Car Startup Zoox; Terms Undisclosedon June 26, 2020 at 6:33 am
Amazon.com Inc. is buying autonomous vehicle startup Zoox Inc., a move that could potentially help the e-commerce giant slash delivery costs and create a formidable opponent to ride-hailing and ...
- Tesla's industry lead is growing as legacy automakers 'flail' on driverless cars, Ark Invest analyst sayson June 26, 2020 at 5:54 am
Tesla's trek higher seems unstoppable with traditional automakers' businesses in flames as a result of Covid-19, said Tasha Keeney, an analyst at Ark Invest.
- Amazon Adds Driverless Car Maker Zoox To Its Portfolio For $1.2Bon June 26, 2020 at 3:54 am
Amazon will reportedly pay more than $1.2 billion to acquire Zoox, the Foster City, California self-driving technology company.
- Amazon spends $1billion on self-driving startup making its own driverless cars for ride-hailingon June 25, 2020 at 11:44 pm
The move will expand the e-commerce giant's reach in autonomous vehicle technology and according to the company will bring Zoox's 'vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality' ...
- Volvo will use Waymo technology to power its self-driving carson June 25, 2020 at 12:26 pm
Volvo will use Waymo technology to guide its self-driving cars, including one built for ride-hailing services.
- Have Some Dad Fun: Tell Him That Self-Driving Cars On Earth Might Discover Intelligent Life On Other Planets And See What He Sayson June 20, 2020 at 9:29 am
Ask him if there is intelligent life beyond our planet. Nobody yet knows, though there are plenty of efforts to find out. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been going on for many ...
- Robo cars hit new speed bump in COVID-19 worldon June 17, 2020 at 9:12 pm
The innovators behind driverless vehicles are now challenged with assuring passengers the cars are virus free.
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