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Baidu to test driverless cars and build operation zone in Shanghai

SHANGHAI – Chinese search engine giant Baidu signed an agreement with the Shanghai International Automobile City (SIAC) on May 27 to test its driverless cars in SIAC’s Auto Innovation Park.

Vehicles would be tested in enclosed testing area within National Smart and Internet Vehicle Pilot Demonstration Zone which is scheduled to open on June 7, according to SIAC president and CEO Rong Wenwei. 

Rong introduced that the first-phase project is an enclosed 2 square kilometer area with 29 scenarios set such as collision warning, overtaking warning and traffic light guidance. The second-phase project under construction would have more than 100 functional scenarios by 2017 to better test driverless cars.

Baidu’s Autonomous Driving division president Wang Jin said Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) is a future trend and the agreement will propel the driverless car industry. It would further improve Baidu’s L4 based autonomous driving technology and helps Baidu’s goal of commercializing driverless cars in three years and mass producing them in five years.

Baidu debuted its driverless car at last year’s World Internet Conference in Wuzhen.

Wang said unlike the M-City in Ann Arbor in the U.S. which focuses more on V2X, Baidu tests not only cars, but also smart ecosystems, which connects vehicles through smart internet. 

Rong also compared SIAC with M-City from which the former learns. He believes the former involves with bigger space, more scenarios, more vehicles and communication skills. It takes consideration of safety, efficiency, transportation, information service and mobile service.

One highlight for SIAC is that it is the first established smart and internet vehicle pilot demonstration zone which brings NEVs to test and makes wireless charging on road happen in the future, according to Rong.

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