China has decided to enter the competition of autonomous cars. Baidu is a Chinese internet giant, similar to Google. It is making efforts to get its self-driving cars on the road.
Baidu is going to use driverless technology for a public bus service, as early as 2018. But the same company could also make self-driving cars for individual use, after 2018 – according to Jing Wang, senior vice president of Baidu’s business unit of automated cars.
So far, one problem with autonomous cars across brands has proved to be the people. Those who are in usual cars or passersby don’t always follow the rules like automated cars do. For example, regular cars don’t fully stop at an intersection, even if they are supposed to. Priority can also be a problem. So autonomous cars have to be adapted to the local culture and amount of aggressiveness.
Because automated cars always follow the rules, this can create problems when interacting with people. Because people don’t always follow the rules, as shown above.
Aside from Baidu, Tesla is the only other company which wants to get their brand of cars going by 2018. Most of the competition, like Google, is working to get the cars into circulation by 2020.
Baidu is not just focusing on China. On Thursday, Baidu received a permit to test the autonomous vehicles in California. The car maker already had a team set up in Sunnyvale, California earlier in the year.
Wang also pointed out that Baidu has two advantages, which make it different from other automated cars. The first is a special type of Artificial Intelligence which allows the car to learn by itself and adapt, receive high-quality imagery and recognize obstacles.
The Chinese company teamed up with NVIDIA, the biggest vision computing company in the world, to make the software for the driverless cars. Tests results showed a level of 90.13 percent accuracy rate on vehicle recognition.
The second novelty Baidu introduces is HD mapping. These are an essential part of getting cars ready for the road. Baidu claims to be the first Chinese company which produced high-res, 3D route maps.
Wang also said that cars have completed encouraging tests under the difficult weather, like rain or fog. Cars performed well while driving at night, too.
Image Source – China Daily