Volvo agreed to a partnership with Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), one of the leading internet search engines in China, for the collaboration in the development in autonomous vehicles.
The two Companies plan on perfecting the technology and then mass producing the cars to be sold in the Chinese market, the largest market for vehicles. The Chinese market for autonomous cars is so large that according to IHS Markit, by 2040 33 million self-driving cars will by sold and 14.5 million of them will be sold within China.
Not only do Baidu and Volvo plan on making the car autonomous, but it is planned to be fully electric as well. Despite collaborations for similar vehicles by car companies like GM & Honda, the Volvo-Baidu agreement brings expertise from two very different industries. Baidu, already developing their automated driving system, Apollo, will combine that with the knowledge of the automotive industry from Volvo.
“With Baidu we take a big step forward in commercialising our autonomous compatible cars, built on Volvo’s industry-leading safety technology,” stated president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson. “There is a strong development in autonomous drive in China, where Baidu is a leading player, and the market there offers huge opportunities for us as the supplier of choice for autonomous fleets” added Samuelsson.