Chinese internet giant Baidu has signed an agreement with major global carmakers, Volvo and Ford, that will help put China at the centre of a massive autonomous electric car market push.
The two auto giants announced agreements with the Chinese internet company this week, which has already been testing its self-driving technology, dubbed Project Apollo, both in China and the US.
The move by both companies is calculated; China has already been proven as the largest market in the world for electric cars, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts this trend will see it grab a staggering 42 per cent share of the global EV market by June 2019.
Analysts predict that China will be a centre for autonomous driving also, with the potential for 14.5 million autonomous vehicles – almost half the predicted global volume of 33 million – to be sold there alone.
Swedish carmaker Volvo will be providing its automotive expertise to Baidu, and says that its choice to partner with the Chinese internet giant is based around a common goal of safety.
“With Baidu we take a big step forward in commercialising our autonomous compatible cars, built on Volvo’s industry-leading safety technology,” said Volvo president and chief exec Håkan Samuelsson.
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