Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc will soon test self-driving cars in the U.S., and the company will also strengthen cooperation with the U.S. government to put autonomous cars on the road, media reports said Thursday.
The test will be a significant step for Baidu, which "is trying to get ahead in the race to build autonomous cars," Andrew Ng, Baidu's chief scientist, was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday. Better cooperation with the U.S. government will be necessary for the company to put cars on the road, he said.
Ng's remark was made on Tuesday in an interview in the U.S., a public relations representative from Baidu, who declined to be named, confirmed to the Global Times on Thursday. She declined to disclose more details about the company's autonomous car progress.
Ng, an artificial intelligence scientist, is the key person in the push for self-driving cars.
According to the testimony Ng released Tuesday ahead of a hearing by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on the regulatory obstacles to self-driving cars, he called for small changes made by governments to infrastructure so as to accommodate robot cars, the WSJ report said.
Baidu announced in December 2015 that it aimed to put autonomous cars on the road in three years and mass produce them within five years. A new unit has been set up to push forward its ambitious goals in this area.
Technology giants around the world have been engaged in the development of self-driving cars in recent years.
Alibaba Group Holding is expect to launch its first Internet cars in April in a partnership with China's SAIC Motor Corp.
The Internet giant has also expressed interest in and support of driverless cars.
Google and Apple have also been developing autonomous cars in recent years.