Baidu working on automated vehicles
Google started development on it’s self-driving car running the Chauffeur software and presented a prototype on May28 without padles or a steering wheel. The self-driving car that was tested in the below video still sported these additions, but Google aims at creating a vehicle that doesn’t need you to move a finger to make it go wherever you want it to.
Baidu, on the other hand, wants to keep the driver involved in driving. Their smart car concept focuses more on creating an assistant that collects data from road situations then using these data to operate the car locally. While Google’s car uses sensors and software mostly, the Baidu vehicle will rely mainly on the traditional driving accessories like pedals, breaks and wheels. Baidu compared its vehicle to a horse and the way you operate that vehicle would be just as riding, assuming control only when you want to or feel you can’t trust your horse, ehm, vehicle. The official prototype is due 2015, so there must already be substantial development at Baidu.
At a first glance, the Baidu vehicle seems to be just a more sophisticated cruise-control system, but the fact that the company is referencing horses and their riding infers the fact that the car will be smart enough to make self-preserving decisions which would automatically keep the rider or driver, can’t decide yet, safe and sound. The only pic we’ve found of the car’s alleged appearance shows us a vehicle that seems to be a mix between the Smart Fortwo, Toyota IQ and GEM Peapod for Crysler. For those of you who are into small, electric, cost-effective and easily maneuverable cars, the Baidu might end up being your favorite, since it probably will feature eco-friendly power sources and small dimension, typical of current trends.
Considering that this is Baidu’s first attempt within its Institute of Deep Learning which was recently put into place, the fact that the prototype will be appearing in less than a year promises that Baidu will further its research, good news for those who are not fond of Google’s driverless car.