A group of hackers attempted to steal self-driving car technology from Baidu, a Chinese web services company that has been actively pursuing self-driving cars, Bloomberg first reported.
Details on the hacking attempt are scarce, but Baidu has beefed up its cybersecurity team following the threat. Ma Jie, Baidu’s head of cybersecurity, told Bloomberg that the company is supporting a group of “white hat” student hackers from Tsinghua University and has also teamed up with rivals Tencent and Alibaba to limit the likelihood of another attack.
Baidu did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on when the hack occurred and if the hackers were targeting a specific kind of technology.
Baidu has been publicly testing its autonomous technology since 2015 when a BMW 3-series modified with its self-driving tech successfully completed an 18.3-mile route. The Beijing-based company also let members of the public take rides in a fleet of electric cars retrofitted with its driverless tech in November 2016.
Baidu is planning to produce a limited number of autonomous vehicles for a shared shuttle service in 2018. But the company has said it will also mass produce the cars in 2021. Baidu has employees working on the project in an office in Sunnyvale, California and has an autonomous testing permit in the state.