Chinese search engine firm Baidu is going head-to-head with Google by designing a self-driving car of its own.
According to statements by Kai Yu, a deputy director of a Baidu research group focusing on machine learning, the company is developing a "highly autonomous car."
In an interview with The Next Web, Yu said that it is "an intelligent assistant collecting data from road situations and then operating locally," adding, "We don't call this a driverless car."
Yu also explained that the main difference between Baidu's product and Google's yet-to-be-released autonomous car is the freedom it offers the driver.
"Freedom means the car is intelligent enough to operate by itself, like a horse, and make decisions under different road situations... Whenever the driver wants to resume control, you can do that. It's like riding on a horse, rather than just sitting in a car where you only have a button."
Baidu's prototype vehicle is set to possess a steering wheel and pedals for direct control unlike Google's car. While few details have been released regarding the device, it is expected to launch as a more advanced version of systems already in development for automobile firms, like Audi's "Piloted Driving."
More details are expected to be available with the launch of the prototype vehicle next year,