BMW and Baidu to end their joint project on self-driving cars

Baidu driverless car

BMW and China’s Baidu will end their joint research on self-driving cars and trucks, executives for the two companies said on Friday, with Baidu now looking for new international research partners.

Wang Jing, the head of autonomous vehicle development at Baidu, informed Reuters the company was now utilizing vehicles from Ford’s Lincoln in its U.S. testing, declining to elaborate.

“I’m open for any partners, in fact I’m speaking with numerous,” Wang stated, speaking on the sidelines of China’s third World Internet Conference took place in the eastern Chinese city of Wuzhen.

Tech and vehicle leaders contend that vehicles of the future will be capable of totally driving themselves, transforming the transport industry, with essentially all automakers in addition to companies such as Alphabet’s Google and parts supplier Delphi investing heavily in establishing the technology.

The two business chose to end the cooperation, which involved testing in the United States and China, because they held different opinions on the best ways to proceed with research, BMW’s China CEO Olaf Kastner informed Reuters at the Guangzhou auto show, which started on Friday.

“We now have discovered that the advancement speed and the ideas of the two business are a little various,” Kastner stated, without specifying the precise point of difference.

At the conference in Wuzhen, Baidu provided test drives of various autonomous driving prototypes made independently with Chinese automakers Chery, BYD Co and BAIC Motor.

The test automobiles drove a closed roadway, automatically preventing a bike and surpassing cars moving at different speeds.

BMW’s Kastner stated the two made decisions to part methods after collectively developing the automated surpassing ability, seeing it as an essential turning point for the technology.

The German automaker plans to broaden its research and development team for autonomous drive in China, Kastner stated.

The two companies are going to continue to be partners on high-definition maps, which are a crucial to the navigation of autonomous vehicles, he included.

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