Google is bracing for a tough competition in the self-driving car space as China's Baidu has revealed plans to launch its own driverless car later this year. The Chinese web giant will partner with a third party automobile company and leverage its own artificial intelligence and computer technology.
According to a state-run People's Daily paper, Baidu will take advantage of 'big data', Baidu Map AI and Baidu Brain, which will run the self-driving car as if a human is driving.
Baidu's participation in the autonomous car race was announced by the company's Senior Vice President at the China Cloud Computing conference. It's worth noting that the intervention will not be entirely new for Baidu as it has already worked with BMW in the past, to develop advanced semi autonomous car technology, BBC reports.
Baidu's integration of Artificial Intelligence in its cars using Baidu Brain will reciprocate human thinking, which will help making quick decisions. This is essential given road disasters can happen anytime and swift decisions will increase the chances of avoiding such accidents.
Even though Baidu is penetrating the autonomous driving space, the company will add traditional pedals to give drivers full control of the vehicle anytime they want. Whereas Google's self driving cars have done away with all controls, including steering wheels, which has raised concerns about the road safety when these cars hit the roads.
Google's self-driving project has been in motion for several years now and is ready to take the roads around its headquarters in Mountain View, California, for further real-time testing this summer. So far, the autonomous car fleet tested by Google has been linked to 13 minor accidents over the course of six years.
It remains to be seen how these tech giants will compete in the entirely new product category, which has marked a stepping stone for Artificial Intelligence. Only time will tell if Baidu and Google will popularise the self-driving concept and develop interest in consumers.