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Baidu rolls out self-driving bus in search of new growth

With 100 vehicles already made, Chinese company starts taking orders

Baidu CEO Robin Li shows off the 100th unit of its Apolong self-driving bus. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda)

BEIJING -- Top Chinese search engine Baidu on Wednesday announced the commercial launch of what it calls the world's first mass-produced self-driving bus.

CEO Robin Li told an audience in Beijing that the vehicle, the Apolong, features level four automation, which allows it to operate without human oversight under certain conditions. This is a step below full automation, known as level five.

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