Designed In China - Part One Click


Designed In China - Part One

Click visits Beijing, exploring the latest technology on driverless cars, in an area where China is seen to be developmentally on par with the US.


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Transcript


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Time now for Click.

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This week, another chance to see our big Chinese adventure

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from earlier this year, in which we danced,

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we played and had a smashing good time.

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Breathe.

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Clear your mind.

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Forget everything you've learned.

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China has changed.

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Welcome.

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Welcome to a country like none other, one that for so long has

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gone its own way, with its own ancient traditions,

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but which is now ready.

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Ready for anything.

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China may be thousands of years old, but...

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It kind of feels quite young.

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There Is an energy here, an enthusiasm to welcome the world,

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and also show the world what it's got.

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And what it's got is not just factories churning out

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other people's stuff.

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The Chinese brands themselves are starting to break out.

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"Made in China" is becoming "Designed in China."

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Yet there are some parts of life here that you may

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consider unpalatable.

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Its take on human rights, its control of the media,

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its attempts to censor inconvenient information behind

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that Great Firewall.

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From Facebook and Twitter to the mighty Apple,

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western brands are not given an easy ride here -

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although it's not blanket censorship, and people can

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and do circumvent it.

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But that buffer from the Western invasion has allowed Chinese

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innovation to flourish, and that's what we're

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here to discover.

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This is Click's Chinese story, part one.

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Let's start with lunch, which on one day looked like this.

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But on other days was consumed on the go, and brought to us

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by an army of scooter-riding food angels like these.

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Yep, today in Beijing we're ordering a delivery from a local

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restaurant using WeChat, the social network of China.

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It's a full-on, multipurpose tool.

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Think of a mix between Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.

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You can do business, you can have fun.

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Yes, China is trying to go big on innovation.

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It has over 1,600 accelerators, including the rather nice

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looking Innovation Works, founded by former head

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of Google China Kai-Fu Lee.

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There's a wall here of the billion-dollar projects

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they have backed including Meitu, which has been valued

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at over $3 billion.

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Yep, more than 270 million people use this

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selfie-beautifying app every month.

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And ,for this month only, this includes me.

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Pretty!

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But they don't just have accelerators in Beijing.

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They have a whole startup street, called Innoway.

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And it has many, many start-up cafes.

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Above each cafe is an incubator, and above each of those,

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working space for new companies, which is free for three months.

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And it is here that I met Gansha Wu, whose own start-up, Uisee,

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is being talked about as potentially revolutionising

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the autonomous car industry.

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In China, the situation is a little bit different.

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When the government tries to push something, it typically

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gets enough attention, enough resources, enough forces.

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So in China, you know, you always see everyone goes

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in the same direction.

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It' good, it's bad.

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But sometimes, at this point, everyone goes into this mass

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entrepreneurship and innovation.

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I think it helps.

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But walking around Innoway, it doesn't really look like there's

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that much take-up yet.

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Still, if you are really successful, you don't just get your own street,

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you get your own palace.

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Welcome to DeepGlint.

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It is led by Yong Zhao, a co-founder of Google Glass,

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who today has invited me to take part in this colourful demo.

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What is the purpose of the multi-coloured hula

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hoops we're wearing?

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It means we're watching everybody.

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We're tracking you.

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We put a ring on your body, and no matter where you

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move, it follows you.

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Therefore, they understand your trajectory and your behaviour.

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DeepGlint specialises in 3D computer vision and deep learning,

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and uses this to make sense of how people are moving around.

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One of our important customers are banks.

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They really want to understand people's behaviour in their space,

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no matter whether you are a customer, or people

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walking casually.

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So if you're casual, you don't want to walk too fast,

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like you're running.

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That might mean something really bad is happening.

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COMPUTERISED VOICE ISSUES INSTRUCTIONS.

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She's upset with you.

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You're stealing the cash.

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Or there are some places where they don't want you to get in.

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If I walk on to this mat, they are going to complain.

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This is a sensitive area.

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Or if you stay in this room for too long, it also complains.

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So if I wanted to rob this bank I would have to do it very slowly,

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but also get it done very quickly.

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Yes.

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Right.

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If, in the process, somebody was hurt and falling on the floor,

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the camera will know.

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Someone is falling down.

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So I have also not got to injure anyone, while moving

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slowly and quickly.

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You cannot crawl.

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You cannot do this!

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He's really got this place covered.

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I think I'll rob somewhere else.

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And it's more than just behaviour that's being monitored here.

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DeepGlint supplies facial recognition systems that can pick

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out hundreds of faces at once, and even identify stolen cars,

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not by their number plates, which may have been changed,

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but by their markings, their stickers and their scratches.

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Of course, it's not just in Beijing that you find innovation,

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start-ups and incubators.

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They're happening all over this vast country.

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And Jen Copestake has been to central China,

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to Chengdu, where something very strange is going on.

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Yes, I've travelled to the heart of China's Sichuan Province,

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to the provincial capital, Chengdu.

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It's famous for its pandas and mahjong.

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There's even electric tables in the countryside.

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I'm playing mahjong - I think!

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And it's now building a reputation for hi-tech, too.

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The University for Engineering, Science and Technology

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is one of the best in the country for robotics.

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There are 35,000 students here, from all over China.

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And many of them make robots, including these

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autonomous characters.

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Kitted out with high-definition cameras, they're designed to carry

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out jobs from neighbourhood watch to monitoring bail conditions.

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They can even keep track of prisoners in jail.

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The theme of surveillance is strong here, as you might expect.

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A team from the university has developed this police car prototype.

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The 360-degree camera mounted on the car's roof can automatically

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scan for faces within a 60-metre radius.

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I tested it out by going for a run, and it did pick out my face.

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It would be matched against a police database to see if I was a criminal

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or suspect, and then send an alert to the car

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if there is was a positive match.

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The final version of the car should be able to pick people out at speeds

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of up to 120 kilometres an hour.

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Spooky stuff.

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But we have really come to Chengdu to play with this.

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Oh, my goodness, it's actually really

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intimidating.

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Whoa!

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The robot is designed to be as much like a human player as possible.

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Its eyes are the HD cameras at the back of the court.

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These computers send prediction data on where the shuttlecock will fall

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back to the robot via Bluetooth.

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Its hands are racquets.

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The information received needs to be millimetre-accurate

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for it to get shots back.

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The robot starts in the central position.

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Its brain has a map of the court, and it won't venture

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outside the lines.

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I think I can beat him, but he's...

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So how did you get involved in this project?

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Did you win the competition?

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Yeah, of course!

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Champion!

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No arguing there.

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You don't have to drive far in China's cities

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to hit this.

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HORNS BEEPING.

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In fact, this is why you can't really drive far at all.

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Not in less than an hour, anyway.

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And that might explain why China is working fast to catch up

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with the current talk of the town, autonomous cars.

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Right now everyone owns a private car.

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But down the road, it doesn't need to be this way.

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The car can be shared among many people.

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Only 5% of the time the car is driven, 95%

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of the time it is parked.

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So if you have autonomous cars, once they've dropped you off

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they can drive off and go away?

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It is easy.

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Yes, when you think about it, there is a good argument for sharing

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autonomous vehicles, and that argument is being made by Baidu,

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China's largest search engine.

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It's just announced a plan to develop a test area

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for autonomous taxis and buses in the city of Wuhu over

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the next five years.

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This is Baidu's autonomous car.

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It's a BMW, with all the standard features of any autonomous car.

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You have super-accurate GPS there, lidar, or laser-accurate radar,

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on the top and on all four sides, and round the front,

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millimetre-wave radar, and a ton of cameras in the windscreen,

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to watch out for obstacles and map the road.

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And inside, possibly the most important feature of any

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test autonomous car, an emergency red stop button.

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But is driving in China any different to driving anywhere else

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But is driving in China any different to driving anywhere else

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in the world?

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Well, to get a sense of the actual technology you'd need to navigate

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in Beijing traffic, I was taken for a ride by that

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famous Chinese company, Volvo.

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Quite a bit of the technology that we will find in autonomous cars

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already exists and is already in cars that you can buy today.

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This one, for example, can keep a safe distance

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from the car in front and it can keep in lane,

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as long as it can see good lane markings either side of it.

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Not that we have much opportunity to use those features here.

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I wouldn't call it chaos, everyone did seem to know

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what they were doing.

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Everyone except me.

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I don't even know how many lanes there are here.

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We seem to be like...

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If you're an autonomous car, you need to deal with this,

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you need to deal with this chap.

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You need to deal with the man that came past a few minutes ago

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selling turtles to drivers.

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So, a little way to go before we hit this sexy vision of the future.

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Chinese video streaming company LeTV says it is developing

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its own self-driving car.

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Why?

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Because in the future what else will we be doing in our autonomous

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cars than watching its TV and movie service?

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Hmm.

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Certainly looks like it will cost a fortune and,

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yes, that is a problem.

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Autonomous cars are expensive to develop and will be filled

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with expensive components.

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But, interestingly, this car, developed by Uisee, a company

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founded by our good friend Gansha Wu, is dispensing

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with the very expensive lidar and inertial sensors

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and using cheaper stereo cameras to help it see in a different way.

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We have an interesting metaphor.

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So, Google has pretty good eyesight based on all the sensors.

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So it has an eyesight of 2.0.

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So they don't need to be very smart.

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Probably they have an IQ of 120.

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But for us, we want to have an eyesight of 1.5,

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with an IQ of 180.

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We actually built a supercomputer in the car.

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All of this traffic is contributing to another big problem

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here - pollution.

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In 1978 there were just 1.3 million vehicles on China's roads.

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Today there are 279 million.

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The smog is sometimes so bad it's breathtaking.

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You can see the haze, kind of, over there,

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but you will get a much better idea from the top of this building here.

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Right, so now you can see it, can't you?

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There's the Olympic tower, the Water Cube, and the Bird's

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Nest Olympic Stadium.

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There are mountains over there, trust me!

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Not that you've got a chance of seeing them today.

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It's up here that I'm meeting IBM's chairman in China, Liming Chen,

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who has his eye on a cleaner future.

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We normally use 1978 as a kind of benchmark.

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That's the year China opened up, right?

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If you look at the population in 1978, our population

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was only 960 million.

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Today we have 1.35 billion.

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The net increase is almost 400 million.

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So whenever you have a population increase then you have energy

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consumption, no doubt about that.

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Couple that massive growth in population, traffic and industry

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with the fact that China's main fossil fuel is the one that

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produces the most CO2, coal, and you can see why the horizon

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is so grey.

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Previous attempts to turn it blue again have involved

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shutting down everything, factories and traffic,

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in the whole Beijing area for four weeks in the run-up to the 2008

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Beijing Olympics.

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But IBM has developed a smarter way to manage pollution

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and turn the horizon green.

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This is the home of the Green Horizon Project,

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a massive undertaking to predict where and how bad the pollution

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will be ten days ahead.

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Not only does Green Horizon help predict which areas will be hit

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worst, it can predict the environmental and economic

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effects of different pollution management strategies,

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from shutting down certain factories to banning traffic

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in different areas.

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Now, an enormous amount of data is being analysed here,

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coming from ground sensors, satellites, weather forecasts,

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geographic information, traffic data and factory

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emission monitoring.

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Green Horizon is even learning how to read comments

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and pictures on social media.

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Social media can help us to quickly locate some

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of the pollution events.

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Leaking, or illegal emissions, so we can use social media data

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to help the city manager to quickly find out those pollution sources.

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This project is already active in several cities in China and it's

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being piloted in New Delhi and Johannesburg too.

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I've been gobsmacked at just how stunning Beijing is.

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But it's going to take an awful lot of work to keep the air clear enough

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for us all to appreciate it.

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No such problems here - 1,500 kilometres to the south-west

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of the capital in central China, in the mist covered

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mountains of Zhangjiajie.

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I've come to China's oldest national park,

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which holds a very new secret.

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Tucked away on the edge of this World Heritage Site,

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someone's decided to build a bridge from the middle of nowhere

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to the middle of nowhere.

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Unlike me, they hope the thousands of visitors that will come here

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won't be too scared to look down, 300 metres through the world's

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highest glass walkway.

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These are the final days of construction

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for this three-year project.

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More than 300 engineers have worked through all weather conditions

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to build what's also the world's longest glass-bottomed bridge,

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a breathtaking 430 metres, crossing Zhangjiajie's grand canyon.

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And the bridge, you can see, it opens up to the sky.

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Usually bridges are parallel and this one is like that,

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so you feel the sky is coming into the bridge.

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The walkway itself is just 60 centimetres thick,

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so the challenge to keep everything stable has required

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some fresh thinking.

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70 glass balls are to be positioned on springs along the walkway.

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They've been designed to move to counter any swaying.

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These curvy railings will persuade up to 800 visitors

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to keep changing direction, offsetting the resonance

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caused by hundreds walking at a constant speed.

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And then there are the water tanks.

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TRANSLATION: We are going to put four water tanks in the bridge.

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When the bridge vibrates the water inside these tanks will make waves.

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We've calculated the size of the tanks so the frequency

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of the water waves and the bridge's vibration are different.

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So when the bridge vibrates the water tanks can help to stop it.

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They are hoping to sway tourists to stay longer.

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This amphitheatre will host fashion and light shows and next year you'll

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be able to throw yourself off the edge and experience the world's

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highest bungee jump.

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At this altitude you can't afford for anything to go wrong.

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And eight months ago it did.

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Pictures showing how a cliff hugging glass walkway had smashed under

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the feet of a tourist after he dropped a mug went viral.

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The walkway was closed.

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Our hosts were keen to show me just how safe I was.

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Each panel of the walkway has three layers of toughened glass,

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held together by glue.

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Well, the president has given me a hammer and says that even if I can

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get through all three layers of glass I won't fall through.

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He also says I will be the toughest man in the world if I can

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get through this lot.

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So this is how they are going to assuage people's fears of

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glass bridges.

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Oh!

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And it looks like you can see the top glass has

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shattered here.

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Three!

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Oh!

0:22:380:22:41

We're OK.

0:22:410:22:43

Oh!

0:22:430:22:45

HE PANTS.

0:22:450:22:54

Do you know what?

0:22:540:22:57

I think this might be safe!

0:22:570:23:00

OK, guys, we get the point.

0:23:000:23:03

And so at last it was time to welcome the very first specially

0:23:030:23:07

invited tourists onto the glass.

0:23:070:23:17

It is an unnerving experience and it takes a little

0:23:250:23:29

while to get used to.

0:23:290:23:33

HE LAUGHS.

0:23:330:23:36

I've only just begun to be able to do that.

0:23:360:23:41

It's a remarkable feat and it's really something for the eyes.

0:23:410:23:45

This entire structure is incredibly impressive and I'm sure we'll get

0:23:450:23:48

very, very similar reactions when it's opened

0:23:480:23:52

to the public next month.

0:23:520:23:59

Dan Simmons, in Zhangjiajie.

0:24:040:24:06

And next week we'll rerun part two of our Chinese trip,

0:24:060:24:10

as we venture into the factories of Schengen.

0:24:100:24:13

But, for now, I'll leave you to enjoy the view.

0:24:130:24:17

Good morning.

0:24:350:24:36

As is so often the case across the UK, the heat builds

0:24:360:24:39

and the thunderstorms arrive, that is what is happening

0:24:390:24:41

at the moment.

0:24:410:24:42

Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far,

0:24:420:24:45

with 34 degrees recorded in Suffolk, the same too

0:24:450:24:47

across Graves End and Kent.

0:24:470:24:48

Click visits Beijing, exploring the latest technology on driverless cars, in an area where China is seen to be developmentally on par with the US.


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