While China is technically still a developing nation, there are numerous areas in which China is ahead of the US. This fact will be shocking to many Americans, who still picture China as a poor country that only manufactures cheap stuff for US consumers. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million words. So here are some videos from China …
*1* Fleet of “robotaxis” that are totally driverless (i.e. without a human safety driver). Startups like AutoX are leading the way in autonomous vehicles.
*2* Hi-tech vending machine that uses AI to (1) recognize the person using facial recognition, and (2) figure out what they took from the vending machine.
*3* A little Chinese girl is shopping with her smartwatch and QR codes. Mobile payment is the default in all the big cities. No cash, credit card or, God forbid, checks. Everyone uses AliPay or WeChat Wallet. And the vendors pay almost nothing for the transaction (unlike the US where we pay 2% or 3% commission to Visa, MasterCard etc.). Whopping $18 TRILLION of mobile payments were transacted in China last year — that’s bigger than China’s GDP ($13.5 trillion)!
*4* Robots, AI, mobile payments … Alibaba is redefining restaurants (called “Hema” or “Freshippo”). Small robots deliver food and big robots collect the dishes.
*5* Chinese commentator “gets into” the football field using AR (Augmented Reality). Imagine how much fun Super Bowl games will be, if we had this technology
*6* Robot uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) to navigate office corridors, turnstiles and elevators. Holabot from PuduTech
*7* Alibaba’s futuristic hotel, FlyZoo, uses AI, robotics, IoT, speech recognition, facial recognition, mobile payments etc. to showcase the digital transformation …
*8* Lightning-speed checkout at a Chinese cafeteria. AI kiosk scans and recognizes the food and the customer’s face. “Scanning, processing, payment confirmed.” (Customers’ mobile bank accounts are linked to their faces).
*9* Flying taxi is here! Autonomous and battery-powered drone from a Chinese startup called Ehang.
*10* Xiaomi’s double-foldable smartphone. Oh, Xiaomi, Huawei and other Chinese companies will have 5G phones this year as well.
*11* Retail giant JD.com uses smart delivery vehicles. Driverless/self-driving technology is going to have a huge impact
*12* Haidilao, the hot pot chain restaurant, uses robots to cook the food and robots to deliver the food to the tables.
*13* Alibaba and JD.com all have fully automated warehouses where robots pack, move and ship things.
*14* Drone delivery has also started. Ele.me is a Chinese food delivery company that has partnered with Starbucks — yes, there are 1000s of Starbucks in China — restaurants and tech firms to enable food delivery by drones. It still involves human carriers for now, but the drones beat the traffic on the roads.
*15* Self-driving bus from Baidu. Called “Apolong”, the driverless, autonomous bus doesn’t even have a steering wheel. Just hop on it and let it take you places! (“Apollo” is Baidu’s open-source software platform for autonomous vehicles)
*16* It’s electric and it’s self-driving. It’s a smart tractor for Chinese farmers. Hopefully China will export this to many developing nations as well.
*17* Grocery shopping is totally hi-tech and super convenient at Alibaba’s Hema stores. Short clip from CNBC’s video:
*18* No employees at this “personless” Chinese bank in Shanghai. AI, robots (with speech recognition), AR and smart kiosks do it all.
*19* Bingo Box — cashierless, self-serve convenience store. Use your WeChat Pay to open the door, pick up the items and the AI system will figure out what you’re buying!
*20* Driverless bicycle operated by a revolutionary AI chip that combines machine-learning and neuroscience-based algorithms. The chip was designed by Tsinghua University (which is ranked #1 in the world in computer science and engineering).
*21* China is the king of manufacturing, not because of low wages. That era is gone. Now, China uses robots and automation to deliver great productivity and high profit margin. Here’s a video of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai (and such factories are used by all Chinese brands as well)
*22* Shanghai has the world’s largest container port. And this seaport is now fully automated, thanks to AI, 5G, robots, IoT, autonomous vehicles, and cloud computing.
And … some bonus videos: here’s a bullet train whizzing past at a station. China has 18,000 miles of high-speed railway network. A hi-speed train can carry 1000+ customers and still reach 250 miles per hour!
Here’s a 20-story parking garage that’s fully automated. Parks and retrieves your car in under a minute! Clever innovation that’s perfect for big metropolitan cities.