Probably taking a cue from its counterpart (Google) in the US, Chinese Web Giant Baidu will showcase driver-less cars later in 2015, the company has announced at the China Cloud Computing conference.
The key companies Baidu might work with on this ambitious project is still unknown, but we do know that the Beijing-headquartered company has worked with BMW in the past.
The car will be a combination of user-controlled and driverless, and will include the option for drivers to take control of the pedals and steering wheel. The primary difference between this modus operandi and that of Google is that the latter has been testing completely autonomous cars, to the point that it has even taken out the steering wheel.
While Baidu had previously said it was working on such a concept, no definite timeframe was given until now. A senior official at Baidu had also gone on to criticise Google’s self-driving cars and Baidu would opt for greater freedom to the driver.
Baidu is directly locking hands with competitors like Google and Uber, both of whom have been making strong inroads into the self-driving car scene. Google announced last month that its prototype self-driving cars would take to the public roads this summer around its headquarters in Mountain View, California. It would be interesting to watch how both search giants go about their projects, what with extensive map technology and search data available at their disposal.