Baidu team up with Chinese automaker BAIC
Baidu, China’s internet technology giant, hopes to be in the business of mass producing autonomous cars by 2021. Chinese internet titan Baidu has been working on autonomous vehicle research for years. After a failed partnership with BMW, Baidu opened itself up to team up with other companies. The internet giant has another partner now: Chinese automaker BAIC, which will pair its cars with Baidu’s tech to start mass production of level three autonomous vehicles around 2019, followed by L4 vehicles around 2021.
As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, i.e. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver’s seat. Self-driving is supported only in limited areas (geofenced) or under special circumstances, like traffic jams. Outside of these areas or circumstances, the vehicle must be able to safely abort the trip, i.e. park the car, if the driver does not retake control.
Baidu plans to mass produce Level 4 self-driving cars
Those are lower grades of automation than the fully-autonomous, no-steering-wheel level five ‘robo taxis’ that many automakers are salivating over (and NVIDIA claims its dedicated new AI computer can power). But those, like Intel’s partnership with Waymo for L4/L5 vehicles, are mostly eventual goals.
Baidu has outlined a roadmap for its line of self-driving cars with scheduled goals: By the end of 2018, BAIC’s self-branded vehicles will carry Baidu’s Apollo connectivity features along with the internet giant’s DuerOS voice assistant, with plans to produce one million of those cars by the next year. Both companies also collaborate on a cloud-based ecosystem of products and services like crowd-sourced traffic, according to TechCrunch.