Baidu to Open up Driverless Car Technology

Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. will opened up its self-driving cars technology to auto makers, aiming to be the default software platform in the automotive and autonomous driving industry.

The new project is named “Apollo”, which will provides a hardware and software service solution for auto makers to develop their own autonomous driving systems. The solution will include a vehicle platform, hardware platform, software platform and cloud data services.

Baidu will first open its autonomous driving technology for restricted environment in July and then share its technology for cars running autonomously in simple urban road conditions towards the end of the year. The company also said it will gradually introduce fully autonomous driving capabilities on highways and open city roads over time by 2020.

"An open, innovative industry ecosystem initiated by Baidu will accelerate the development of autonomous driving in the US and other developed automotive markets," Qi Lu, chief operating officer at Baidu, said in a press release.

Baidu has been investing heavily in autonomous driving technology since 2015. The company now is trying to build a collaborative ecosystem in the autonomous driving industry, like Google’s Android system in the smartphones.

"AI has great potential to drive social development, and one of AI's biggest opportunities is intelligent vehicles," said Qi Lu.

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