Self-driving cars look to be the future of the industry. Everyone wants to get in the game, including Baidu, which is basically China’s version of Google. Back in November, the company said that the joint research on self-driving cars with BMW has come to an end, as the two had different views on how to process.
Baidu then decided to continue working in the area of autonomous vehicles on its own, and it looks like the decision to do so was correct. The company has recently announced that it will launch its self-driving car technology for restricted environment in July. It will then gradually update it with new features with the plan of creating a fully autonomous driving system by 2020.
The Chinese search giant will obviously need to partner with other companies to bring the system to the market. It has already announced its intention to work with businesses that will provide vehicles, sensors, and other components that will use the self-driving tech.
Baidu, like a lot of companies, wants to make it big in the artificial intelligence business. It launched a $200 million fund in October to focus on AI, AR, and deep learning. A month prior, it announced a $3 billion fund that will target mid- and late- stage start-ups in the industry.
Once fully self-driving cars hit the streets, we can expect that safety on the roads will increase dramatically. That’s the plan anyway, although there are a million things that could still go wrong. We’ll have to wait for some time before something like this becomes a reality, but we’ll get there eventually.
As already mentioned, Baidu isn’t the only company working in this area. There are a bunch of others including Daimler and Bosch, which have recently joined forces to speed up the development of self-driving cars.