AfterDawn: Tech news

Chinese search giant is investing enormously in self-driving cars

Written by Matti Robinson @ 22 Sep 2017 3:51

Chinese search giant is investing enormously in self-driving cars

The Chinese equivalent of Google, Baidu, has announced that it has launched a new $1.5 billion fund to speed up advancement in autonomous driving. Baidu's plan is to fund around hundred self-driving car projects over the next three years.
Clearly Baidu is serious about competing more fiercely with U.S. based technology companies for the future in autonomous vehicles.

The fund, called Apollo Fund, is named after the company's open-source autonomous vehicle software, Apollo. The Apollo Fund was announced alongside news that the self-driving software had advanced to second generation and version 1.5, Reuters reports.

The Apollo software is turn is named after NASA's space program.

From the public's perspective it seems that Baidu's target is mainly competing with Tesla. The American car maker has been able to bring forth most impressive autonomous driving features so far.

Tesla has previously been working on autonomous driving features, software application, and chip manufacturing with Nvidia as well as Mobileye, which was acquired by Intel in March. Tesla is now developing AI chips for autonomous driving in-house and rumored to be partnering with AMD.

Baidu's plan is to get the Apollo software ready for public use in regular traffic by 2020.

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