Chinese tech giant Baidu today said it plans to begin mass-production of driverless cars in five years as part of its efforts to get ahead of its US rivals Google and Tesla Motors in the autonomous vehicle technology.
President Zhang Yaqin said Baidu will carry out road tests of driverless cars in 10 Chinese cities, with the aim to commercialise the technology in three years and realise mass production in five years.
The move is a significant step for the Beijing-based tech company trying to get ahead of Google in building autonomous cars, and is marshalling the resources to advance the effort.
During the ongoing Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016, or Summer Davos, in Tianjin, Zang told state-run Xinhua news agency that the core technology of Baidu’s driverless cars, was the “Baidu car brain,” which includes high-precision electronic mapping, positioning, sensing and decision-making and control systems.
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Baidu has already completed its first road test of automatic driving in mixed road conditions.
The company has plans for more road tests in various weather, road and traffic conditions in ten Chinese cities.
After it launched its autonomous car project in 2013, Baidu joined the race with Internet giants such as Google and Tesla Motors.
Baidu is now leading the world in terms of the cutting-edge technology of driverless vehicles, Zhang said.