Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU) challenges Google with Self-Driven Car Test

Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has recently announced that they have built an automated car that has successfully completed a driving test that comprehensively tested the capabilities required by a self-driven car. The success of the 30-kilometre self-driving car test comes as a challenge to Google.

Internet censorship in China is at such extremes that it has earned the name the Great Firewall of China. Even search engines like Google are banned in the country. However, Chinese nationals have been using their own Google for many years now in the form of Baidu, their ever-reliable search engine, and now the Chinese search engine has made its name with another feat.

Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) recently announced that their automated car that successfully completed an all-round automated drive test. The car, a modified BMW 3 series, completed a 30-kilometre driving route that challenged all the capabilities of the car.

The Chinese search engine said that the car successfully automated card driving as their car performed actions like making U-turns, changing lanes, overtaking other cars, and decelerating while detecting a decrease in proximity between vehicles in front.

The route, which was 30 kilometres in length, consisted of different road types and weather conditions in order to test the car’s ability to perceive and adapt to the environment comprehensively. The car also reached a max speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

Baidu’s self-driven car uses the software Baidu AutoBrain to manoeuvre the vehicle as and when required. The successful completion of this test completes Baidu’s attempt at drawing first blood in the race of building an automated car, an attempt which began with Baidu recruiting Google’s former AI chief Andrew Ng.

The Chinese search engine now joins a list of other major corporations that are making valiant efforts in a bid to make the first big leap in the field of building an automated car. They have said that before making it commercially available, the vehicle and its technology will be tested on routes and services like city buses where the routes are well defined and fixed. Baidu’s vehicle testing is different from Google’s in that   it was tested on motorways.

Google’s AI cars have traversed more than 2 million kilometres during the six years of the company’s automated car project and the trials are done mainly in residential and urban areas.