Baidu will work with a yet unknown auto manufacturer to introduce a driverless carby the end of this year, Wang Jin, a vice president of the company, was quoted by the Beijing-based Economic Observer as telling a conference on Sunday.
(Also see:Daimler Teams Up With China’s Baidu in Connected Cars Drive)
Baidu has previously worked on “semi-autonomous” cars with German automaker BMW.
Google of the United States is also developing a driverless car and has said it plans to test it on public roads this year around its headquarters in California.
(Also see:Google Says Has Completed Its First Self-Driving Car Prototype)
Alibaba is planning an “Internet car” that would use technology to provide a better driving experience including e-commerce, digital entertainment, map and communications services.
Tencent also has plans for an Internet-connected car, while Chinese video streaming platform Letv plans an electric vehicle.
But analysts say details of the automotive visions of Chinese technology firms remain vague, and commercial production is unlikely.
Baidu’s announcement follows a series of scandals.
The company was banned from competing in an international artificial intelligence competition next year after it was discovered that a team of researchers cheated this year.
And last month it said it had launched anti-corruption investigations into an unspecified number of its own employees after reports three department heads were being probed.