Some of the biggest tech companies around the world are working on autonomous car technology as many of them hope to launch a commercial model before 2020. Baidu, often referred to as the Google of China, is working on its very own self-driving car and the company is going to test its technology in the United States.
The company’s chief scientist Andrew Ng has confirmed in an interview that Baidu will be testing its autonomous cars in the United States. This is going to be a major step for the company. It’s also advocating for better coordination with the U.S. government which it believes is necessary to put self-driving cars on the road.
Unlike Google, Baidu hasn’t developed its own self-driving car, it’s testing out the technology on modified BMW 3-series sedans and already has commitments with multiple Chinese manufacturers that will manufacture its autonomous vehicles. The company hasn’t decided yet whether it’s first self-driving car is going to have a steering wheel.
Baidu is hoping to introduce a commercial model of its self-driving car by 2018. That’s an ambitious target but it shows that Baidu clearly wants to be ahead of the pack. Tech companies in the U.S. like Google are already working on their own autonomous car projects and major car manufacturers like Ford are heavily invested in making this the future of mobility.