Chinese internet search giant Baidu has joined forces with both Ford and Volvo to work on the development of self-driving cars.
With Ford, Baidu has agreed a two-year autonomous vehicle test project to further advance the development and on-road testing of self-driving vehicles in China. On road-testing, as part of the project, is set to begin before the end of this year with the aim of eventually producing vehicles that can operate autonomously within specific locations and weather conditions.
“Working with a leading tech partner like Baidu allows us to leverage new opportunities in China to offer innovative solutions that improve safety, convenience and the overall mobility experience,” said Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC. “This project marks a new milestone in the partnership between Ford and Baidu, and supports Ford’s vision to design smart vehicles that transform how we get around.”
Meanwhile, the Volvo partnership will see Baidu work with the Chinese-owned, Swedish carmaker to develop electric and fully autonomous cars for mass production in China. The aim of linkup is to enable both companies to develop and sell the self-driving cars to Chinese customers.
“With Baidu we take a big step forward in commercialising our autonomous compatible cars, built on Volvo’s industry-leading safety technology,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “There is a strong development in autonomous drive in China, where Baidu is a leading player, and the market there offers huge opportunities for us as the supplier of choice for autonomous fleets.”