On July 3, Baidu announced an agreement with the Wuzhen Tourism Bureau to initiate a project to bring autonomous cars to the city. The goal is to enable tourists to book the cars to visit popular sightseeing areas.

Wuzhen’s canals have led to it being nicknamed the Venice of the East (Source: wuzhen.com.cn)

Wuzhen’s canals have led to it being nicknamed the Venice of the East (Source: wuzhen.com.cn)

The news was covered by Cate Cadell of TechNode, who reported:

Just two months after Baidu announced the launch of a autonomous driving zone in China’s Anhui province, the search giant is now planning to test their cars on tourists in one of the country’s most popular travel destinations, according to state media.

Baidu is reportedly developing a deal with Wuzhen tourism Co., a travel agency in Wuzhen, which is famed for its quaint historic houses built atop a network of canals. The popular tourist destination is sometimes dubbed the ‘Venice of China.’

Wang Jin, the head of Baidu’s autonomous driving division, told Xinhua News that they are currently working with the local tourist agency to develop possible routes, as well as settling details including costs and the number of vehicles. The plan has not yet been finalized and a launch date has not been set, according to he report.

Wuzhen is starting to become another tech hub inside China, due to recent modernization of IT infrastructure in the town. It became the permanent host of China’s World Internet Conference in 2014.