Baidu’s GM of Intelligent Vehicles Gu Weihao started his keynote session for CES Asia by asking the question: When will autonomous driving be able to surpass human ability?

He cited a report from think tank RAND that calculated self-driving vehicles would have to clock 275 million failure-free miles to demonstrate that it meets the safety standards of today’s vehicles. Even if a fleet of 100 cars drives for 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, it would still take 12.5 years to collect this data. Daunting, but Baidu is determined to make progress and become the head of the pack.

Gu considers AI to have two key requirements: sufficient data and the capability to convert that into applicable knowledge. To address these, the Baidu Intelligent Vehicle Division is advancing the areas of modeling, big data and cloud computing. It now has the world’s largest deep learning neural network and its road condition and vehicle recognition success rate has reached 90%. Baidu also built supercomputer Minwa, with the computational power equivalent to two Tianhe-1 supercomputers.

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Linda Lew

Linda Lew is a Beijing-based journalist who covers technology, start-ups and business in China. You can reach her at lindalew at aliyun dot com.