Baidu gets the green light to test self-driving cars on Google’s back yard


China’s largest search engine just got permission to test their self-driving cars on Google’s back yard

Baidu announced this Thursday that it has received an autonomous vehicle testing permit from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, bringing the Chinese search giant one step closer to testing its self-driving cars on Google’s home turf.

The permit follows hot on the heels of the company’s announcement earlier this year that it would be creating a crack team of up to 100 engineers, based in Silicon Valley, to develop their autonomous vehicles. And now that that team is up and running and with the new permit in place Baidu can now begin testing its vehicles in real world conditions – something that will help it dramatically accelerate its plans to create a fully autonomous Level 5 vehicle.

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“We will start testing our autonomous driving technologies on public roads very soon in California,” says Jing Wang, senior vice president of Baidu and general manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Unit.

“Baidu has already built a strong team in Silicon Valley to develop autonomous driving technologies, and being able to do road tests will greatly accelerate our progress.”

Baidu is the latest in a long list of car makers and suppliers to receive autonomous vehicle testing permits in California with others including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Google, Delphi Automotive, Tesla Motors, Bosch, Nissan, GM Cruise LLC, BMW, Honda, Ford, Zoox, Inc., Drive.AI and Faraday Future.

While at first you might think it peculiar that California is letting a Chinese search giant loose on its streets it shows that the Californian authorities are serious about making sure that they remain at the forefront of the new revolution.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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