The prototype of an autonomous vehicle belonging to Tencent Holdings Ltd. appeared on the Fourth Ring Road in Beijing today, a user-generated report claimed.
This was the first exposure of a corresponding vehicle after the Chinese internet giant officially announced its involvement in the autonomous driving vehicle industry last November.
Re-modified from a white homemade Changan SUV, the prototype carries a piece of large-sized laser radar on the top and is equipped with camera and millimeter-wave radar sensors around its body. A driver was putting his hands on the steering wheel, indicating that the car might not be in a self-driving mode, a user named QbitAI reported.
After some investigation, QbitAI found that the SUV was registered under a Tencent subsidiary in central China’s Hubei province, suggesting that the car was a prototype used by Tencent for its autonomous vehicle trial.
The Tencent Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory made its official debut at the Tencent Worldwide Partner Conference last November. The company had developed its own autonomous driving system and made a successful presence in this emerging industry of a USD42 billion market scale, per Bloomsberg’s report back then.
Tencent also acquired 5 percent of stake of Tesla Inc., a smart electric car giant, with around USD1.8 billion through open market last March, becoming the fifth largest shareholder of the company.
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