HANGZHOU, China / BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to develop self-driving trucks with logistics subsidiary Cainiao, Chief Technology Officer Cheng Li said Thursday.

Cheng also said Cainiao plans to launch 1,000 autonomous delivery robots in China next year.

The announcement comes as dozens of startups, automakers, and big tech companies like leading internet search provider Baidu Inc are accelerating work on self-driving vehicle systems that are widely expected to transform the transportation industry.

The other self-driving truck manufacturers include the US company TuSimple Holdings Inc, which listed shares in April.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe; Editing by Christopher Cushing)