E-commerce giant Alibaba is steering resources towards driverless car technology, its CEO Jack Ma confirmed on Thursday, joining a global race to shape the future of driving.
Despite fresh safety fears after a woman was hit and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle in the US last month, many tech giants like Google as well as automakers are accelerating plans in an industry attracting billions of dollars.
The competition is heating up in China, the world's largest car market, with internet firm and Alibaba rival Baidu recently predicting that self-driving vehicles will hit the road in the country within three to five years.
Both Baidu and Chinese tech giant Tencent are pursuing the technology, stirring speculation about Alibaba's plans. "We've been doing a lot of research on driverless things," Ma told reporters on Thursday while on a business trip to Bangkok.