Ford, Baidu Team Up for Autonomous Vehicle Testing
It is an open secret that car manufacturers around the world are in a race to come up with the perfect autonomous or self-driving car. Ford is among the many carmaker who is constantly improving and developing its autonomous vehicle. As such, the American automaker has teamed up with Chinese company Baidu for a joint autonomous vehicle testing.
Ford and Baidu entered into a strategic partnership to further advance the development and on-road testing of autonomous vehicles in China. The Baidu-Ford Level 4 Autonomous Vehicle Test Project is a two-year initiative, and the on-road testing is set to begin by the end of 2018. The partnership will allow Ford and Baidu to jointly develop and test autonomous vehicles that are designed to meet the Level 4 standard set by SAE International.
“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 Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC President and CEO Sherif Marakby.
With this, Ford engineers at the Blue Oval’s Nanjing Research and Engineering Center was put up to convert its vehicles into Autonomous Vehicle Platforms. The reason for this is that the vehicles will be fitted with Baidu’s Apollo Virtual Driver System. The tests will be conducted on open roads in Beijing that are designated for autonomous vehicle testing.
This is not the first time that Baidu has partnered with an automaker. The Chinese company has also teamed up with Volvo Cars to jointly develop electric and fully autonomous cars for China. The two companies entered into a strategic partnership to accelerate the pace of mass producing electric and autonomous cars for the Chinese market.