Ford Motor Company and Baidu announced the commencement of a two-year joint autonomous vehicle test project, under which the two companies will further advance the development and on-road testing of autonomous vehicles in China. The project will see Ford and Baidu cooperating to develop and test autonomous vehicles that are designed to meet the L4 driving.

In the lead-up to the kickoff, a team of Ford engineers at the company’s Nanjing Research and Engineering Center (REC) was set up to convert the vehicles into Autonomous Vehicle Platforms (AVPs) in order to prepare them to be fit with Baidu’s Apollo Virtual Driver System (VDS). All vehicles have been equipped with the Virtual Driver System (VDS) and related hardware and are ready for testing. The AV tests will be conducted on open roads in Beijing that are specially designated for AV testing, with the option of exploring further opportunities in other Chinese cities in the future in accordance with local regulations.