Baidu is joining hands with BAIC Group to mass produce self-driving cars by 2019. BAIC Group, a Chinese automaker will take care of the manufacturing part while Baidu will handle self-driving technology, cybersecurity, image recognition and DuerOS virtual assistant capabilities, Weixin has reported.
It is known that the Chinese internet giant is working with many companies to develop an autonomous driving platform-Apollo. The company had released the second generation of its open-source autonomous driving platform Apollo 1.5, recently. The open platform will be leveraged to produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomy by the year 2019 and then with level 4 autonomy by 2021.
Through this partnership both the companies plan to equip over 1 million of BAIC’s vehicles with autonomous technology. The companies together will also bring into existence an ecosystem of cloud-based automotive products and services. The companies will also work on crowd-sourcing traffic information etc.
It is interesting to note the time of the announcement as only a month back General Motors had announced to have created the first mass-producible autonomous car. Apollo has more than 50 partners, which includes vehicle manufacturers, Teir1s, startups, component providers. Nvidia, which is also a member of the alliance has recently produced an AI chips which can enable level 5 autonomy, it will be interesting to see how things develop from here.