If you had told us a decade ago that Google, of all companies, would be developing a driverless car, we likely would have asked you what you were smoking. But here we are, watching the Internet giant not only testing such systems on existing cars, but designing its own vehicles. It won't be the only one, it seems, as reports from China indicate that one of its own is following suit.

That company is Baidu, which for all intents and purposes is China's Google. Only, you know... it hasn't been banned in China. Baidu has a search engine, open-source online encyclopedia, searchable multimedia database... the works. It's the fifth most visited website on the internet behind Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo!, and ahead of Wikipedia, Twitter, Amazon and even Autoblog, hard as it is to believe. It was the first Chinese company to be indexed on the NASDAQ 100, and now, just like Google, it's developing its own driverless car technology.

Baidu's system reportedly uses radar, lasers, cameras and GPS to recognize its surroundings and pilot the car without driver intervention. It can read traffic signs, recognize voice commands and whatever else it needs to do in order to drive itself around.

That's about all we know at the moment, with the company scheduled to begin testing before the year's end. Baidu previously announced it was developing a driverless bicycle as well, though we can scarcely imagine how that would work.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      OpenTrackRacer
      • 4 Months Ago
      Baidu might be the dominant search engine in China but that doesn't make it a Google equivalent. Google does a LOT more than search these days if you didn't notice.
      LW
      • 4 Months Ago
      Why not just put 2 handrails in front of the cars so it could become a rickshaw. Now they can employ the 900 million peasants wasting away in the rural villages and pull the 100 million fat cats in big cities.
      Walt
      • 4 Months Ago
      Seeing as this is being 'engineered' in China, I guess it's safe to say it won't debut until after the Google version so they can copy it.
      gork
      • 4 Months Ago
      And next week Ask Jeeves will announce that it, too, will be producing driverless cars. Two months from now, Yahoo will jump in. In October Wolfram Alpha will announce that it, too, has jumped into the bandwagon. By December, DuckDuckGo will announce a driverless car initiative that doesn't track you.
      Carman
      • 4 Months Ago
      Uh... Will this be called the Gongle, not Google?
      Larry Litmanen
      • 4 Months Ago
      If Baidu car is better and cheaper than GM i'll buy one.
        Jim
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        Of course it will be cheaper than GM. And of course it will be vastly inferior to GM. One tends to follow the other, after all.
        Genericbeer
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        So one accident will crumple it like a tin can and hopefully erase you from this earth? Sounds good to me.
        Will
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        You hate America!
        gregmlr
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        It will probably have less recalls.
      vegasstyleguy
      • 4 Months Ago
      In China car take you directly to executioner. Progress.