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Baidu confirms its driverless car project

Two months after Google unveiled its driverless and steering wheel-less car prototype, Chinese search engine giant Baidu is working on the same tech as well.

A Baidu representative confirmed that it’s working on a self-driving car, but stated that the program is “at a very early stage.”

The Baidu driverless car project is being driven by its “deep learning” labs. No other details are available at this time. Baidu has R&D labs in this specialist arena in both China and Silicon Valley.

Google has been involved in self-driving tech since at least 2005 when Google engineer Sebastian Thrun came out with an autonomous car – actually a modified Volkswagen SUV – that it codenamed Stanley.

Considering the length of time needed for such artificial intelligence technology, it could take years for Baidu to roll out a working prototype. It’s also unclear at this stage if Baidu might sell its own driverless cars or simply license its know-how to existing automakers.

Earlier this month rumors swirled that Baidu was working on a self-driving bicycle, but on that occasion the company declined to comment. At least we know Baidu’s autonomous car program is for real.

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