On August 27 at the launching ceremony of GWM WEY VV6, tech giant Baidu and Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) announced the intention to deepen research and development (R&D) in high-definition maps and autonomous cars on Baidu’s open platform Apollo. The two companies are aiming to achieve mass production of self-driving automobiles by the end of 2020.
At the event, GWM officially declared Baidu as the designated cooperation partner of WEY, focusing on self-driving, high-precision HD maps, and positioning technology. GWM issued a certificate of recognition for Baidu on the spot.
Meanwhile, Baidu invited WEY to join the Apollo open vehicle certification platform, making WEY a certified partner of Baidu in any future collaborative endeavors. As GWM gradually opens up automotive hardware systems such as gas and electric vehicles to Baidu, it will become the first auto manufacturer in China to offer traditional gas vehicle hardware to developers also using Apollo.
According to GWM, the first batch of WEY VV6 cars will serve as Baidu’s autopilot R&D test vehicles. The two companies are hoping to put these self-driving vehicles into mass production by the fourth quarter of 2020.
GWM and Baidu have already cooperated on many fronts in the past few years. In 2016, the two companies started cooperation in HD maps and self-position technology for the first time. Then in 2017, GWM became the first strategic partner of Baidu’s Apollo platform. In addition, this April, the two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to achieve a more comprehensive cooperation in autonomous driving.