Baidu, the Chinese Internet search company often referred to as China’s Google, may introduce its autonomous car this year, Bloomberg reported, citing Chief Executive Robin Li. This puts Baidu, which has been researching its own smart car in collaboration with auto manufacturing partners, in the company of Google and Apple, which are both working on self-driving cars.
Li didn’t, however, give details Monday of Baidu’s automotive partners, according to the report. Baidu has previously said that its car will still keep drivers in control, but be capable of driving itself.
Global companies from Google to Apple to Samsung Electronics are in a race to capture a chunk of the future of not just transportation, but also people’s homes, betting that the world will increasingly be a connected one, with everyday activities flowing back and forth on a multitude of private and public devices and networks.
Such companies have also made investments in startups or altogether acquired them in the quest for those technologies that might put them ahead of the game in smart cars, homes and wearable personal devices that can also keep track of one’s health parameters.
Apple may begin production on an electric car as early as 2020 and Google is working to produce a self-driving car ready for the road within five years, Bloomberg reported.