Chinese search engine giant, Baidu is all set to roll out its driverless buses in China next year. Alongside this the company has also outlined some of its self-driving vehicle goals onstage at the Wall Street Journal’s conference. The goals primarily involves a strategic plan to roll out semi-autonomous vehicles by 2019, and fully autonomous cars by 2021.
With Baidu spending about $1.5 billion on self-driving R&D efforts annually, the company is seated pretty comfortably with regards to innovation and cost cutting measures.
The driverless bus will be manufactured by an unnamed Chinese bus maker, with plans to run one predetermined route when its ready for service. Baidu will partner with Chinese automaker BAIC Motor to make the self-driving vehicles, since the tech company has focused primarily on developing its autonomous platform, rather than actually making cars.
It is also extensively working on its open-source self-driving platform, Apollo that will enable a wide number of automakers and individual developers to collaborate by pooling of research methodologies and available data transcripts.