SUNNYVALE, CA — Baidu, Inc., China’s leading search engine, said it has formed a self-driving car team in Silicon Valley focused on research, development and testing. The team will be part of Baidu’s newly-created Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU). Baidu plans to grow the team to over 100 researchers and engineers by the end of the year.
The team will include machine learning researchers as well as hardware and software engineers across a variety of technical domains, from robotics and computer vision to onboard computers and sensors. Additionally, the company is looking for individuals with experience in the automotive industry.
“Baidu is fully committed to making self-driving cars a reality,” said Jing Wang, SVP of Baidu and General Manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Unit. “Autonomous vehicles will save lives and make transportation more efficient. Baidu’s Silicon Valley car team will play a significant role in building the car of the future.”
The Silicon Valley team will be known as ADU-US. It will focus on areas integral to self-driving car development, including planning, perception, control and systems. ADU-US will work alongside Baidu’s existing Silicon Valley-based teams, including Baidu Research.
Baidu’s self-driving car vision is based on an incremental approach, which includes starting with small “autonomy-enabled” regions and designing autonomous cars to be clearly recognizable.