The president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles named Sherif Marakby announced the partnership with Baidu’s vice president and general manager of its Intelligent Driving Group Li Zhenyu on Wednesday in Beijing. Following the deal, the two companies will further advance the development and on-road testing of autonomous vehicles in China, the world’s biggest auto market.
The collaboration is synced with Ford’s plans to further advance and promote autonomous vehicle technologies, supporting the company’s vision of designing “smart vehicles for a smart world”.
“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,” Marakby said.
Ford’s engineers in China have already converted the test vehicles into autonomous platforms to be fit with Baidu’s Apollo Virtual Driver System. The tests will be taken forward on open roads in Beijing that are specially designated for driverless testing, with the option of exploring further opportunities in other Chinese cities.
“Baidu and Ford both believe in using technology to redefine the future of mobility,” said Li, adding further that the project will combine the leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford’s vehicle expertise, marking a significant step forward.