Another self-driving car hits the road…in China

The self-driving car race just got another contestant. Baidu, A.K.A. the Google of China, announced Wednesday that its robocar, a retrofitted BMW 3 Series, autonomously drove an 18.6 mile loop from Baidu’s headquarters in China through city roads and highways, and back home to Baidu HQ: The route Baidu’s robocar took through Beijing. The robotic Beamer hit top speeds of 62 m.p.h. It was proficient at making turns. It slowed down when it detected cars ahead. It could change lanes, merge into oncoming traffic from ramps, and take exit ramps properly. “Fully autonomous driving under mixed road conditions is universally challenging, with complexity further heightened by Beijing’s road conditions and unpredictable driver behavior,” said Wang Jing, the general manager of Baidu’s newly established Autonomous Driving Business Unit, in a statement.…

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