Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) Launches Testing For Driverless Electric Vehicle

Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) is getting onto the self-driving car bandwagon with its own electric car.

Story continues below

According to Business Insider, the Chinese firm is working on its own autonomous technology and has launched testing efforts with a Chery EQ that is fully electric. The autonomous technology testing will involve the AutoBrain software from the company. Prior to the launch of the new testing phase, Baidu had teamed up with BMW to test the technology using modified BMW 3 Series vehicles. The AutoBrain software automates various components including decision making, control, driving maps and detection.

Last year Baidu managed to cover a route spanning 18.6 miles thus proving that the technology is on the right track. The autonomous capabilities of the software allowed the BMW vehicle to enter and exit the highway, make turns and even change lanes. The Chinese firm plans to carry on the testing using the Chery EQ which has been modified to meet the optimum requirements of the company so as to in turn optimize the results. Baidu hopes that the process of testing the technology will turn out as expected.

The company plans to launch autonomous public shuttle services in China in 2018 and that is why the firm is hoping that the technology will be ready by then. The firm also plans to launch the vehicles geographically and is currently mapping routes to capture information such as the height of the traffic lights or the position of the curbs. Leo Zou, a spokesperson for the firm stated that the Chery EQ has been modified for testing in China and it is expected to assist in the development of the AutoBrain.

Baidu decided to switch from the BMW 3 Series to the Chery EQ because the latter is more appealing since it is all-electric. This could be good for the company because it will grant it an environmentally friendly image. The Chery EQ is also considerably more affordable at roughly $9,000, making it considerably more practical.

An ad to help with our costs