China’s Baidu Could Beat Google to Self-Driving Car With BMW

Baidu – the search engine and technology company often called China’s Google –plans to release a self-driving car with BMW by the end of the year. The Chinese firm has been working on autonomous vehicles for the past couple of years, recently partnering with car makers including BMW. The two companies announced a self-driving research project in April 2014, driving test cars around the complex highways of Beijing and Shanghai. Wang Jin, Baidu’s senior vice president, told the China cloud computing services summit that the company would launch a new self-driving car with BMW in China before the year is out. The prototype car will be used to test road-readiness of Baidu’s technology, which will involve the car driving itself but still have human controls. Google recently unveiled a new series of prototype vehicles built from the ground up to be self-driving cars, having previously modified Lexus sport utility vehicles and Toyota hybrid cars for testing purposes.