Baidu and the BMW Group today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which the BMW Group will join Apollo, the open autonomous driving platform by Baidu, as a board member.
The partnership was made official during Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Germany today to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The MoU marks the beginning of a new partnership on autonomous driving between the BMW Group and Baidu. The two companies seek to work together to bring safe, convenient and intelligent mobility experiences for consumers in China.
Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu said, “BMW Group and Baidu have been actively exploring the intelligent vehicle sector and are well-aligned in our vision for the future of autonomous driving. Our aim is to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technologies that align with the Chinese market.”
L-R: Zhenyu Li, vice president and general manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group, and Klaus Frohlich, member of the board of management of BMW Development.
Klaus Frohlich, member of the board of management of BMW for development, said, “With BMW Group and Baidu joining forces we can significantly accelerate the alignment of specific requirements and technological approaches to turn the vision of autonomous driving into reality for Chinese customers very soon.”
The BMW Group is developing an autonomous driving platform with technology solutions for Level 3 to Level 4/5 (highly to fully automated driving), as well as for advanced driving assistance systems (Level 2). This scalable autonomous driving solution is being developed with technology and OEM partners that contribute knowledge, resources and intellectual property assets for a state-of-the-art concept.
Apollo is an open platform that supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Since its launch in July 2017, Apollo is said to have brought together 118 global partners across both automotive and technology industries.