Baidu partners with BAIC group and King Long to accelerate autonomous driving

Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li (right) and BAIC Group Chairman Xu Heyi at strategic partnership agreement signing ceremony

Baidu announced signing strategic cooperation agreements with BAIC Group and Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. (“King Long”). Baidu and BAIC Group, will mass-produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features around 2019 and fully autonomous Level 4 cars around 2021. Baidu also signed a strategic partnership agreement with King Long, a major Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer. Together the two companies will put autonomous buses that run on designated areas into mass production and trial operation by the end of July 2018. These agreements mark another milestone in the development of the Apollo open-source autonomous driving platform and ecosystem following Baidu’s release of Apollo 1.5.

Baidu and BAIC Group to Mass Produce Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles by 2021

The combination of Baidu’s Apollo open platform and BAIC Group’s vehicle platform will enable the mass production of autonomous cars, with Baidu’s AI technology at the core. The cooperation covers connected cars and cloud services with the goal of creating an “AI+Automotive” ecosystem. Apollo technology, the conversational AI platform DuerOS, and image recognition technologies will be integrated into BAIC Group’s in-car systems to create a one-stop shop of connected car products. In addition, the two companies will jointly explore opportunities to create a new cloud ecosystem, products in intelligent transportation and mobile travel, and other big data services. The cooperation will cover BAIC Group’s passenger, commercial, and new-energy vehicles. It is anticipated that BAIC will be fully equipped with the Apollo car networking capabilities by the end of 2018, and in 2019, the number of BAIC vehicles equipped with Baidu’s connected car products is expected to exceed 1 million.

Baidu and King Long to Advance Mass Production of Autonomous Buses by 2018

A prototype King Long's autonomous driving bus design picture

Baidu and King Long, China’s leading bus manufacturer, will work together to release autonomous driving buses that run on designated areas by the end of July 2018. These vehicles will be the first self-driving buses in China to be mass-produced and mark an acceleration of Baidu’s timeline for the mass production of autonomous vehicles. The partnership will combine Apollo’s cutting-edge autonomous driving solutions with King Long’s extensive vehicle fleet, pioneering work, and expertise in commercial vehicle designs for mass production. The Apollo platform will be integral to the entire research and development process. The two companies have already performed autonomous waypoint driving in enclosed venues using King Long buses deployed with Apollo’s 1.0 capabilities. Together, Baidu and King Long will aim to provide autonomous buses to supply first and last mile services in China.

Source: Baidu