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Pony.ai's self-driving cars have convinced high-profile investors to pour in $300 million, pushing the startup's valuation to $1.7 billion. (Courtesy of Pony.ai)
Startups in Asia

China's Pony.ai races Google to bring driverless cars to masses

Two-year-old unicorn tops Baidu in road tests but faces uphill climb

NIKKI SUN, Nikkei staff writer | China

GUANGZHOU -- Chinese coders call him the "high priest."

Lou Tiancheng has been cracking computing riddles since he was a teenager and has won some of the world's most prestigious programming contests. Now 33, he has taken it upon himself to solve one of the biggest technological challenges of our time: how to make large numbers of cars drive themselves safely on the world's roads.

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