Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is following in the footsteps of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with self-driving cars. The Chinese firm is focusing on the United States to test run its cars . The search engine in China is treated in a similar way that Google is regarded in America. The company is ambitious in trying to build commercially viable autonomous cars before 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Baidu’s latest move is in line with its earlier disclosure that it was focusing on developing vehicles, which could serve as a public shuttle. The report indicated that with about 160 employees in its California office, the company was working on the driverless car project. One of the issues that is being tackled is safety measures adopted by such autonomous cars.
In the case of Baidu, several executives who were working on autonomous cars from the company were called recently to testify before a Senate Committee in the United States. The objective was to discuss the potential safety measures apart from the autonomous car industry’s current status.
Earlier Attempt Failed To Take Off
Baidu and BMW had disclosed a partnership agreement in 2014 to work on autonomous cars. The two companies indicated then that they were hopeful of launching a car before the end of 2015. However, their attempt to launch the vehicle failed though it did not deter the Chinese firm from proceeding with its objectives.
Last year, Baidu had indicated that it was focusing more on helping drivers rather than removing them completely. That was contrary to the objective of replacing drivers completely. The company believes that if it were able to test its vehicles successfully on American roads, then it would find itself in good company.