Chinese Search Giant Baidu Partnering With BMW On Self-Driving Car

In case you've been asleep at the wheel, it's looking like autonomous driving is going to be a huge part of our future. Tesla cares a lot about it. Even NVIDIA does. And of course, few companies have been as committed to it as Google. I'd wager that it was actually Google that first proved to the masses that autonomous driving could in fact become a reality.

But is Google going to be the first out the door with a marketable car? Probably not if Baidu's latest message holds true. The Chinese-based search engine company has said that it'll make use of its partnership with BMW to release a self-driving car before the end of the year.

BMW 5-Series Saloon

While Baidu isn't involved in the US marketplace, it has become well-known here over the past couple of years, especially with regards to its work in the machine learning field. The company had even presented at NVIDIA's GTC this past March to talk about how it's beating out the competition. As we learned just yesterday, though, it's had a little bit of help.

Nonetheless, Baidu's approach to autonomous driving is a little different than Google's - it's meant to assist the driver, rather than replace them. Regardless of what that means, it's going to be a major event if both it and BMW can in fact release a self-driving car before the year's over, and it'd be pretty surprising to see Google beat to it.