China's Baidu has a "highly autonomous car" in the works

Google has been working valiantly on its self-driving (autonomous) car, as well as certain auto makers like Volvo. China's Baidu has revealed that it is also entering the self-driving car industry, only its system won't entirely get rid of the driver, instead serving as an "intelligent assistant".

The information comes from Baidu's Institute of Deep Learning deputy director Kai Yu, who talked about the project with the folks at The Next Web. According to Yu, the company doesn't consider its project a true self-driving car — rather, it is a car that helps the drivers.

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"This is actually an intelligent assistant collecting data from road situations and then operating locally ... We don't call this a driverless car. I think a car should be helping people, not replacing people, so we call this a highly autonomous car," said Yu.

Baidu is said to have "philosophically" different views than other makers on the future of cars — they shouldn't replace the driver, but instead offer him or her more freedom that conventional vehicles. Freedom, in this case, is defined as a car smart enough "to operate by itself, like a horse, and make decisions under different road conditions."

Unfortunately, we won't get a look at the company's prototype until next year.

SOURCE: The Next Web