Chinese Tech Giant’s driverless car completes road test in Beijing

Published Date: 17th Dec 2015

Chinese internet company Baidu has completed testing its driverless car on roads close to it's home in Beijing.

It completed an 18 mile testing route in a modified BMW 3 Series navigating "complex road conditions", including human drivers, the tech giant explained. Baidu’s car completed manoeuvres such as, U-turns, lane changes and even merging into traffic from slip roads. The chinese company has stored a library of 3D road maps to help guide the vehicle.

"Fully autonomous driving under mixed road conditions is universally challenging, with complexity further heightened by Beijing's road conditions and unpredictable driver behaviour," explained Wang Jing, senior vice-president of Baidu and general manager of the company's Autonomous Driving Business Unit.

It’s highly automated driving (HAD) maps can read road data to within a few centimetres, according to the company.

Baidu’s driverless car can see vehicles, road lanes and objects ahead.


Samsung enter the Automotive Sector

Samsung have explained that they will be launching a new department to their company which will make car parts and components for cars and vans.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will begin by developing in-car entertainment, or infotainment, systems.

"It sounds a sensible move for them - whether it's driver assistance or towards automation, there's going to be a lot of development of the sensors, communications and the cloud computing," Alan Stevens, speaking at the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, reported by the BBC.

As for Baidu's prototype, Mr Stevens pointed out that the particular roads chosen for the test route would be indicative of the car's true capabilities.

"I wonder whether we're talking about very well made-up highways with good markings, the question is how does it work in more rural areas," he explained.

Self-driving – Competition Heats up

Competition is certainly heating up in the driverless vehicle space. Recently, German manufacturer Daimler tested a self-driving truck in motorway traffic.

A firm in Japan, Robot Taxi, has made a plan to provide self-driving cars to people in south Tokyo, in 2016.