China’s largest technology company and search engine Baidu Inc and China’s leading electric car maker BYD have announced their plan that bothr the companies are partnering with an aim to start mass producing self-driving cars in the coming three years’ time.
It was last year that Baidu had launched Project Apollo, which was titled after the Apollo moon landing project. The project was started to mark the start of its push to get self-driving cars on the road in China. A technician from Baidu informed that Project Apollo will offer the software platform that can be used by car manufacturers.
Baidu has already manufactured more than 100 autonomous buses and has plans to sell to foreign markets, including Japan, which is set to receive 10 in early 2019. Apart from BYD, China’s Google has also partnered with companies including Microsoft, BMW, Ford and Intel as part of its autonomous driving project.
BYD invited Baidu to attend its Worldwide Developers Conference where it launched its self-driving car called Qing Pro, which is the only car that passed Apollo’s certification process.
Baidu’s CEO Zhang Yaqing stated that the Apollo platform will improve efficiency in the auto industry. He also said that it can prevent as much as nine out of 10 traffic accidents, cut 40 percent off travel times.
Also, it can reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent. According to Zhang, half of the work invested into developing the Apollo platform was focused on its security. He said that the partnership between Baidu and BYD will guarantee the safety of drivers.