Another self-driving car is soon to hit the market.
China’s Baidu looks to be following the footsteps (tread marks) of Google in the self-driving arena confirmed Baidu’s CEO, Mr. Li, recently. The self-driving car is expected to hit the road sometime in the next 12 months.
The car is to be fitted with a range of electronics based on automatic driving technology. They include radar, camera, and of course, a GPS system. The cutting-edge GPS will be equipped with a sensor that can navigate to the address the rider keys in. Once moving, road conditions and other data, including direction and speed, will be loaded into the system.
Baidu will work with a variety of third-party auto companies, whose identities cannot yet be revealed, said Mr. Li. Additionally, research and development is ongoing in the fields of hearing and seeing recognition technology, said the CEO.
Google and Baidu are but two of the automotive companies currently planning to enter the self-driving field. Others include Telsa, Audi, BMW, and India Mahindra.
China’s entry is important as the industry continues to show strong growth, impacting the industry as a whole. The country’s advanced know-how and large customer base may make it one of the strongest in the market.
Despite the interest in self-driving cars in the US and Germany, Chinese buyers seem to be even more interested, shows a recent report by Nielsen, perhaps due to the high levels of road congestion and auto accidents. The country’s road fatalities total 100,000 a year, some three-fold the deaths from road accidents in the US (2012).
Self-driving cars won’t be able to eliminate traffic jams or deaths from car accidents, but as studies have shown, they might help.