Chinese-American internet giant, Baidu hopes to accelerate its autonomous car technology with the launch of its new project Apollo, a new self-driving vehicle technology platform for its partners in the autonomous driving industry. This new project will provide a complete software and hardware service solution. The plan of Baidu is for the cars to start using the tech on the roads toward the end of year and open city roads by some times in 2020, according to a statement. Read more about self-driving vehicles at www.autocpedia.com
This builds on Baidu’s efforts to make and test its own autonomous vehicle. The company has testing out vehicles in both U.S and the China. Beyond opening up its platform for self-driving vehicle, which Baidu has invested significant sums into, Baidu said that it’s also looking to add other partners to strengthen it Project Apollo, particularly around compatible vehicles, sensors, and other components. As for now, the company has partnerships with the Chinese companies such as BYD, BAIC Motor and Chery, while 2-year relationship with the BMW petered out last year over apparent differences in strategy.
Additionally, Baidu has been getting DuerOS . Presumably, the company will be looking to deploy DuerOS in vehicles, just like in which Microsoft looks to get Cortana into the cars, Amazon puts its Alexa in more and more places, and Google seeks to deploy its Assistant tech.
Additionally, the company also announced a specific timetable for their project Apollo. Baidu says that it’ll first open its autonomous driving tech for a restricted environment in July; it will then share its tech for cars running autonomously in simple road conditions towards the end of this year. Fully autonomous driving capabilities on open city roads will be rolled out by 2020.