BERLIN, GERMANY (JULY 10, 2018) (REUTERS) – BMW signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with tech giant Baidu to join its autonomous driving platform Apollo as a board member, BMW said on Tuesday (July 10).
The MoU was signed during a visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Germany.
After years of internal development, Baidu last year decided to open its autonomous driving technology to third parties, a move it hopes will accelerate development and help it compete with U.S. firms Tesla and Google project Waymo.
“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,” BMW development chief Klaus Froehlich said in Tuesday’s statement.
Merkel, after a brief test drive with Li aboard the vehicle, told the German and Chinese delegations “we both made it back in one piece.”