As reported by China News, Chinese Internet giant Baidu have surpassed Google in self-driving market. The fear of Google it has already been seen during the last lawsuit that Google brought against Waymo. In the legal process, there are emails showing that Chirs Undson, former head of Google’s driverless car program, was worried about the decline of the self-driving project. Moreover, even Dmitri Dolgov, Google’s top executive, mentioned in an email that Google’s competitiveness was on the decline in the face of Chinese enterprises.
Evidently Google did not accept the advice, and in recent years it has not focused its energies on giving life to a self-driving car. On the contrary, Baidu has made great strides.
In 2017 Baidu launched its autonomous driving platform Apollo, the first of its kind in the world and a great achievement in the self-driving industry. Apollo autonomous driving program (often called the ‘Android of the autonomous driving industry’) has over 80 partners (automakers, tier 1 suppliers, component producers, startups, academic institutions, government departments, artificial intelligence and technology companies), including field leaders Bosch, Microsoft, and Blackberry. Baidu on Apollo also plans to use its voice interaction and AI operating system DuerOS, that already has more than 100 partners.
The Apollo platform, which includes hardware, software and cloud data services for autonomous vehicles, is always more expansive; therefore it wouldn’t be wrong think that Google has lost the match to win the leadership of the autonomous car market.
Fortune magazine recognized Baidu as one of the top four AI giants in the world and Forbes also pointed out in its article that Western self-driving companies are less likely to make a difference in China, contrary to Baidu, that have the support of the Chinese government.
Baidu now has an unique algorithm, good business partners and enormous support from the government on his side. We just have to wait and see if the goal of Baidu, to begin a mass-producing driverless buses, will be achieved in 2020.