China's own version of Google, Baidu, is working to create self-driving electric bicycles

Photo Credit: © Goran Bogicevic -

Photo Credit: © Goran Bogicevic -

While Google works on self-driving cars, Chinese tech giant Baidu is working to do the same for bicycles. The company plans to debut the first prototype by the end of the year. 

Called the smartbike, the vehicle would be quite useful to China's population. The country has over half a billion bikes in use, and about 120 million of those are electric. 

According to Baidu's PR rep Zhang Liyuan, the smartbikes will be able to recognize owners automatically and will monitor health stats. 

The company is staying pretty mum on the topic, but the implications of such a gadget could be pretty huge for China. These smartbikes could help to reduce traffic congestion and even air pollution, if the bikes become enticing enough to car-drivers.