Baidu plans to take the AI and driverless cars out of China
Baidu, a term not well known to many is a popular Chinese search engine, was created in late 1999 by Robin Li and Eric Xu with a design similar to Google, which gives users the ability to search for news, images and audio files.
This search engine offers more than 740 million web pages, 80 million images and 10 million multimedia files, plus a collaborative encyclopedia similar to Wikipedia, called Baidu Baike.
According to the Alexa ranking, Baidu.com is the most popular site in China and the fourth most famous site in the world, just three places below Google, which is in first position
In the same way that other search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, offer complementary services, such as:
Baidu Maps, that by its name you can already imagine its similarity with Google Maps.
Baidu Tieba, is a great forum.
Baike Baidu, the encyclopedia of the Chinese seeker.
Baidu Yun, to store data in the cloud.
This online search provider has aggressively expanded on cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. A technology that still is far and mysterious, but that for a few years is present in our day to day at all hours.
The term artificial intelligence is applied when a machine imitates the "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "solving problems."
No one expects that today, or in the near future, a technology can match human intelligence, but AI has great implications for the way we live our lives. The brain of artificial intelligence is a technology called machine learning, which is designed to make our work easier and more productive.
In this regard, Baidu is investing heavily in its autonomous vehicle projects and has formed partnerships with companies such as Microsoft and Intel, and BMW, Ford and Daimler car manufacturers.
Leading the charge in China's bid for driverless technology, Baidu has already developed and produced more than 100 Apolong also known as autonomous buses. The autonomous vehicles will soon be deployed in the streets of Beijing and Shenzhen, and are expected to enter the autonomous market of Japan in early 2019.
The Apolong is a strange vehicle. It looks more like a cable car cabin than a bus. Designed with soft lines and especially generous windows, it has capacity for 14 people who sit opposite each other. None leads. There is no steering wheel, because this electric minibus moves alone.
You can travel 100 kilometers with a full battery, which takes more than two hours to charge. And it has a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour that never reaches.
The Apolong is the level 4 autonomous vehicle - on a scale of 0 to 5 - developed by the Chinese technological giant Baidu, known to be the leading search engine in the Asian giant, and has nothing science fiction: it is already operating in different tourist areas of the country, including the capital, Beijing.
At the moment it moves at a speed that rarely exceeds 30 km / h, and replaces the traditional trencitos and carts designed to make less heavy hiking in extensive areas, such as parks. But this is just the beginning of a path that seems long.
At the moment, although it does not require a driver, Apolong moves only along pre-established routes. In tourist parks, for example, they follow a circuit and stop at certain stops. The same happens in industrial complexes, where they connect companies or go from one pavilion to another.
They can avoid obstacles and brake to prevent accidents, but never deviate from the programmed path. That is the requirement that he needs to reach the maximum level of autonomous driving, the 5.
The company has set its sights on markets outside of China. His next step would be to take his technology of artificial intelligence and autonomous driving to foreign markets, bringing it one step closer to becoming a global technological titan.