Ford Motor Company and Baidu will soon kickstart trials to test autonomous vehicles in Beijing, China, following efforts by Ford engineers to equip the vehicles with Baidu's Apollo Virtual Driver System. The two-year initiative was expected to commence by year-end and would involve autonomous vehicles designed to meet Level 4 driving automation standards established by SAE International. Level 4 vehicles in most instances should be able to intervene on their own, without human intervention, when there is a system failure or when things go wrong. Asian country has began investing in quantum technology and is at a similar starting point with other economic powers in this field, says Shanghai-born Turing Award winner Andrew Yao. According to Baidu, the vehicles involved in the trials should be capable of operating autonomously within a specific geographic area and under certain weather conditions.
The world's second-largest economy, China, is en route to achieving great things in the next decade and a half. Projections suggest that by 2032, the Chinese Republic will overtake the United States and become the largest economy in the world. This is a far cry from the China of the '70s before which it was a largely agrarian society. After the introduction of economic reforms in 1978 by Deng Xiaoping and the reopening of Shanghai Stock Market in 1990, China evolved into an industrial powerhouse and its economy started expanding at a brisk pace, averaging growth rates of nearly 10 per cent for almost three decades. Though the benefits of growth in GDP did trickle down to the public as wages and subsequently living standards received a considerable bump, it was largely the Communist Party-controlled state machinery and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) that enjoyed the fruits of China's meteoric growth.
On 37 hectares (nearly 4 million square feet) in Hefei, Anhui Province, China is building a $10 billion research center for quantum applications. This news comes on the heels of the world's first video call made via quantum-encrypted communications and the completion of a quantum-encrypted fiber optic trunk cable. The National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences, slated to open in 2020, has two major research goals: quantum metrology and building a quantum computer. Both efforts would support military and national defense efforts, as well civilian innovators. What is quantum metrology, anyway?
In a huge first for China and the world of quantum communication, researchers at the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) project have used a quantum satellite and quantum cryptography to transmit data to Earth from space. This data is potentially unhackable, thanks to quantum key distribution (QKD) technology. This was the first such transmission from the satellite, which was launched in August of 2016.