Chinese Company Announces Self Driving Car
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Chinese web service provider Baidu wants a slice of Google’s growing cake. Seeking to compete in the autonomous car segment, the company has announced that it will build a self-driving car in conjunction with an anonymous established automaker. Some speculate that BMW is this unnamed manufacturer as it has previously teamed up with Baidu to develop semi-autonomous technology, according to the BBC.
Baidu differs from California-based Google on one key point: it does not believe that the vehicle should posses total autonomy. Its lab’s vision is that the driver would maintain possession of traditional pedals but cameras and electric nannies would lessen the burden of laser-focused driving.
Its cars will launch as early as late 2015, even though its vehicles have been involved in 13 accidents in the 6 years of development. This push to begin sales is likely a move to compete with Google, which has announced that its autonomous cars will hit the road for testing summer 2015.
As capability for complete artificial intelligence draws near, contention is mounting on this front. Industry heads are voicing their opinion on the matter with increasing frequency. Sam Altman, Y Combinator CEO, made the bold claim that the United States should invest $100 billion on anti-AI defense at the 2015 OpenAir conference.
Only time will tell if Baidu’s claims hold any water. In a similar vein, only the American public will determine if U.S. buyers are willing to purchase cars manufactured by a Chinese brand (aside from Volvo that is).