Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Ucar Partners with Online-Ed Startup BitTiger

to Attract Top Self-Driving Car Engineers

Alibaba backed Ucar has opened a research outpost in Silicon Valley partnering online education startup BitTiger to develop self-driving vehicle technology. BitTiger will offer deep-learning coding class and run competitions that will offer cash prizes; and the winners will be earmarked as potential candidates for employment in the company.

PRNewswire/ — Ucar (神州专车) booked approximately 15%1 of car chauffeur services in China in 2015, and are backed by Alibaba. They are based in Beijing, China and began aggressively expanding their research center in Silicon Valley last year by hiring experienced engineers from major Bay Area tech companies. The research center is part of a larger trend among Chinese companies, including tech giant Baidu, that are creating research outposts in Silicon Valley to gain a competitive talent advantage over domestic rivals.

Ucar is responding to the huge market opportunity for self-driving cars in China where crippling traffic jams can keep city streets gridlocked for days2. Principal engineer of the Ucar Silicon Valley based research center, Zhong Hua, explains that Ucar’s self-driving car technology aims to “minimize traffic related deaths, reduce commute times, and make better use of cars left idly parked most of the day,” all goals that would have a big impact in China’smega-cities.

BitTiger is a US-based online learning platform for Chinese engineers that gained experience at elite tech companies to share their knowledge with Mandarin-speaking students around the world. These students are eager to gain access to a top education taught by industry experts not otherwise available to those outside of the best university programs.

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The course being launched by Ucar and BitTiger will provide candidates with fundamental knowledge of image recognition and deep learning techniques. Upon completion of the course, students will be challenged to accurately identify pedestrians, cars, and bicycles among images collected by Ucar’s test vehicles. The top three teams that most accurately and consistently identify these target objects will receive cash prizes and an opportunity to interview for a position at the Ucar Silicon Valley research center.





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