Baidu CEO says EV arm self-driving tech will be ahead of Tesla

BEIJING (Reuters) – Baidu’s electric vehicle (EV) company Jidu Auto will be a generation ahead of Tesla (TSLA.O) in self-driving technologies, Baidu chief executive Robin said on Monday. Li, in a statement.

“Our understanding of smart vehicles is that being electric is the semi-final while being smart is the final,” Li added.

Jidu aims to be able to deliver 800,000 of its “robot” cars in 2028, Jidu chief executive Joe Xia Yiping said in the statement.

Jidu also plans to deliver its second model for mass production in 2024, Xia said.

Jidu unveiled its first “robot” concept car, which has no door handles and can be controlled entirely by voice recognition, in June, with plans to mass-produce the model in 2023.

In addition to equipping the car with self-driving software technology powered by Baidu, Jidu’s “robot” vehicles will have two lidars and 12 cameras. Lidars are detection systems, similar to radar, that use pulsed laser light rather than radio waves.

Tesla does not use lidar censors.

Baidu’s electric vehicle manufacturing plan comes as tech companies around the world race to develop smart cars after Tesla’s success in bringing electric vehicles to market.

Smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp and Didi Global are among other Chinese tech giants pursuing car manufacturing ambitions.