Baidu have been working on driverless technology since 2015.
The project named ‘Apollo’, after the moon landings, is focused on developing a range of software, hardware and data services and Baidu has announced it is willing to share its research findings with the wider community.
Baidu’s president Qi Lu said they want to create a “collaborative ecosystem” using Baidu’s strengths in artificial intelligence to “encourage greater innovation and opportunities, making better use of our technology to drive the evolution of the entire industry”.
Experts in the industry are pushing for advances in this technology as they believe it will benefit the driving population and the environment, globally.
Paul Newman, professor of information engineering at Oxford University and founder of Oxbotica, a specialist provider of autonomous control system technologies, believes driverless cars will make our roads safer, lead to steadier traffic and reduce transport related emissions. Other larger companies also believe this is the case and the race to get the first driverless car on the road is on.
Competition between giants Teslar, Uber, Apple and Google is fierce and so far any technological breakthroughs have been kept confidential which may be limiting progress.
By sharing knowledge, Baidu, who has stated that its technology will start to become available from July, is positioning itself as thought leader in the multi-billion-pound market and as well as fostering innovation and accelerating the race to driverless cars on the roads, it will also benefit commercially from becoming an ‘authority’ on the subject.