Several companies are now giving their best efforts in creating autonomous cars. On Wednesday, Auto Supplier Continental AG collaborated with Chinese Web Services Company in developing connected (car equipped with Internet access) and self-driving cars.
Early Efforts of Baidu
Since 2015, Baidu has already gone public in testing its driverless car. Back in November 2016, it had a test ride where the public can take their respective rides. The trial then lasted for a week. However, the Beijing-based company is planning to produce shared shuttle services for the riding public but at a limited number and is looking forward to have it by 2018. Its mass production of autonomous cars is set on 2021.
Collaboration is Considered Strategic
Recent reports reveal that both companies are aiming at developing technologies, products and business models which will answer to the long-hoped dream of having autonomous, connected and intelligent mobile solutions on the road.
Elmar Degenhart, Continental’s Chief Executive, stated that they see the collaboration as strategic enough to take the development of intelligent mobile solutions a step closer to reality.
Companies Presently Working on Autonomous Technology
Currently, there are several companies engaging in developing autonomous cars and in no particular order: nuTonomy, back in 2016 had a pilot test on a fleet of driverless cars in Singapore; Uber, despite of the issues the company went through, it had its trial test in Pittsburgh last September; both Toyota and Honda, are taking the conservative side, they plan to improve the assisted driving features of their present vehicles instead of going fully driverless; ZF, started acquiring automated systems from a Michigan-based supplier since 2015; for Tesla, they are already working on their Level 4 autonomy and would likely acquire lidar technology (a kind of sensor so cars can detect road hurdles); an autonomous prototype was showcased at CES 2017 by Hyundai – its Ioniq electric car, however the company is committing to full vehicle autonomy pending 2030; the Swedish automaker, Volvo, is trying to make its cars “death proof” until 2020; since 2009, Google is working on its self-driving car project through Waymo, but the company is not really into making autonomous vehicles, it only aims to provide autonomous systems to different companies by means of partnerships; for BMW, it already partnered with Intel and Mobileye in developing its own fully driverless car which it intends to release by 2021; Audi teaming up with NVIDIA has been the first company to receive an autonomous driving permit in Nevada last 2012; Mercedes is into big rigs, and in 2015, its driverless truck drove itself on a public highway; Nissan’s version is currently named as ProPILOT and is eyeing to place call centers for a standby support as a means of intervention; also, General Motors is also making big investments in driverless car technology as well as the Detroit-based automaker, Ford, would want to ensure that the autonomous car technology would be available for everyone and not just for the rich sector who can afford to buy luxury cars.
The agreement was signed in Berlin by Frank Jourdan (Continental Executive Board Member and President of the Chassis and Safety Division) and Qi Lu (Baidu Group President and COO).
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