Race to Win Over Autonomous Driving R&D

By Pilar Martinez,
Money & Investing Writer

Driverless cars are an invention by Google Inc. and have been in research and development since 2009.  According to Bloomberg Business, Wang Jing, senior president of Baidu Inc., a Chinese web service company, has a vision to beat Google Inc. and explore the opportunity of creating autonomous driving.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla Motors Inc. CEO is confident in saying that customers within a two-year period will be able to use their self-driving vehicles from Los Angeles to New York.

Wang, however, feels that China has more potential to enter this emerging market.

Wang states, “With electric cars, with intelligent cars, the core technology shifts from the engine and gearbox to artificial intelligence and that’s an area where China is very close to the U.S., giving China the chance to catch up and seize leadership”.

Technology is evolving, and China is putting in its efforts to be one with the changes.

“Artificial intelligence” is a common term mentioned in the affiliated article. That “deep learning” has been a focus for Robin Li, Baidu’s co-founder.

His expertise and experience in computer science and robots has led him and Wang to believe that China’s Baidu Inc. could become profound in the industry of autonomous driving.

Even the Chinese President, Xi Jinping sees digital technology as a means of creativity and innovation for companies.

One of the related challenges for any company looking to partake in autonomous driving is the inconsistency of road conditions.

While Los Angeles to New York may be the current route being mapped out by Google Inc., the roads in China are far worse. BYD Co., the leading electric carmaker in China has been closely working with Baidu in creating a “Baidu AutoBrain system.”

According to Wang in Bloomberg Business, this system’s objective is to be a software that combines: 1. Technologies for driving, 2. Observing the environment, and 3. Decision-making.

BYD vehicles are not the only ones being paired up with Baidu to create these automobiles.

According to Engadget, Baidu, although has less experience and information available about the vehicles, will likely win the Chinese market rather than Tesla who has been researching and developing these vehicles around the same time as Google.

As mentioned, China will have a strong competitive advantage because of the experience Baidu’s robots will have on more rigorous road conditions.

China may actually be able to control the approach at which Baidu takes its AutoBrain system in order to be more compatible with the various environments the vehicles will be purchased.

China’s technological powers have been profound and will not fall short of that in this industry either.

Google, although still at the beginning of creating these self-driving vehicles, will have to overcome more challenges to enter foreign markets.

Autonomous driving is an industry open for many opportunities.

Global companies are jumping on the wagon of exciting new research and development of the product line for the future.

At this day and age, anything is possible. Driver-less cars were just a hypothetical thought and are presently being created in order to become a functional tool for daily commuting and transportation.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 9th print edition.

Contact Pilar at
pilar.martinez@student.shu.edu

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