Baidu tests autonomous car, emerging as potential rival to Google and others

Baidu has indicated that it could be a serious competitor in the market for self-driving cars by testing a fully autonomous car on a route it said had mixed roads under a variety of environmental conditions.

Baidu has indicated that it could be a serious competitor in the market for self-driving cars by testing a fully autonomous car on a route it said had mixed roads under a variety of environmental conditions.

The vehicle, a modified BMW 3 Series,  is said to have made right, left and U-turns, slowing down if it detected vehicles ahead, changed lanes, passed other cars and  merged into traffic on the highway,  Baidu said Wednesday.

The car reached a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) during the test runs on a 30-kilometer route, which began and ended at Baidu's Beijing headquarters near Zhongguancun Science Park in Haidian District.

Baidu, which revealed last year that it was developing a driverless car, tied with BMW to jointly research driverless car technologies. Earlier this year, Wang Jin, a company executive, said at a conference that a self-driving car would be launched in China with BMW by the end of this year.

The autonomous capabilities demonstrated by the Baidu car are also being tested by other companies aiming to offer self-driving cars, including Google. The Chinese player could, however,  be a serious contender in the autonomous car market, particularly because of its strong brand and presence in China.

Better known for its search engine, Baidu has also ventured into devices like a wearable called Baidu Eye that could rival Google Glass. The self-driving cars are being researched by Baidu's Institute of Deep Learning since 2013.

The company appears to plan to go beyond cars and also develop self-driving buses built around Baidu AutoBrain technology, which includes highly automated driving (HAD) maps, positioning, detection, and smart decision-making and control.

The company's focus appears to be on making the driverless vehicles useful in specific environments. It gave the example of training computer vision and other deep learning systems through repetition for a bus that runs the same fixed route, and later expanding the number of routes mapped by HAD mapping.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?