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China tech

Baidu builds world's largest self-driving R&D center

Push for commercialization revs up as search company's ad revenue slips

A Baidu Apollo autonomous car during a public road test for self-driving vehicles in Beijing in 2018.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese search engine company Baidu has completed a new research and development base for autonomous-driving technology in Beijing, as it races to build up another profit driver to supplement its slumping mainstay business.

The 13,500 sq. meter Apollo Park -- the largest facility of its kind, according to Baidu -- in the capital's Yizhuang economic development zone features a fleet of 200 self-driving vehicle prototypes and test roads with built-in sensors to collect data. The center aims to develop technology that can integrate with transportation infrastructure such as roads and traffic signals.

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