Baidu, China's internet technology giant, hopes to be in the business of mass producing autonomous cars by 2021, thanks to a partnership with BAIC Group, a Chinese automaker which will handle the manufacturing part of that equation. BAIC Group is one of Baidu's many partners for its Apollo autonomous driving program, and it'll use the open platform to produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features by 2019 before moving on to fully self-driving Level 4 cars by 2021, the companies announced today.
Baidu will contribute cybersecurity, image recognition and self-driving, as well as its DuerOS virtual assistant capabilities, and BAIC will integrate those technologies into its own vehicles. The two anticipate that by 2019, over 1 million of BAIC's production vehicles will feature Baidu networking tech, and the companies will be working on building gout an automotive cloud-based ecosystem of products and services, too, including crowd-sourced traffic info and more.
Just last month, GM announced that it would be mass producing its own self-driving vehicles with subsidiary Cruise Automation. The GM large volume autonomous car is based on the Bolt platform, but features more integrated self-driving sensors and computing technology designed to be produced at scale.