Today Ford Motor Company and Baidu, Inc. 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 Baidu-Ford L4 Autonomous Vehicle Test Project is a two-year initiative, with on-road testing stated to begin by the end of this year. The project will see Ford and Baidu cooperating to develop and test autonomous vehicles that are designed to meet the Level 4 (L4) driving automation standard as defined by SAE International. This means that upon completion of the development and testing process, the vehicles will be capable of operating autonomously within a specific geographic area and under certain weather conditions.
The collaboration is aligned 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,” said Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC.
“Baidu and Ford both believe in using technology to redefine the future of mobility,” said Zhenyu Li, Vice President and General Manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group. “This project will combine our leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford’s vehicle expertise, marking a significant step forward towards Baidu’s goal of developing autonomous driving vehicles.”
Ford is a founding member of the Apollo Committee, an advisory group for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform. The new project builds on the existing collaborative partnership between the two companies. Ford and Baidu have also previously agreed on and started to explore new opportunities for cooperation in areas of connectivity, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.