As Baidu announces L5 driverless permits, the conversation about functional safety grows

In April, Chinese technology company Baidu announced its first-ever SAE Level 5 (L5) driverless permits in China for autonomous ride-hailing on public roads. Baidu specialises in artificial intelligence (AI), which has been developed to the next level with its autonomous vehicle (AV) innovations…

Baidu has the largest autonomous driving fleet in China, with over 500 AVs. In expanding its driverless vehicle services, Baidu has worked to meet the unique challenges of Beijing’s complex traffic environment. The company plans to deploy its driverless vehicles in about 65 cities by 2025 and to develop 30 other types of AVs at a later stage, expanding its fleet to provide more convenient driverless services to the public.

However, the development of full L5 autonomy raises functional safety concerns. Peter Els, an automotive and mobility analyst with Strategic Automotive Transformation Services (SATS), comments, “Despite the obvious potential in advancing the rollout of AVs, growth in this area has been hampered by a lack of international standards that define the minimum performance and safety requirements that must be met.”