The Chinese internet group Baidu has ended its cooperation with BMW. There are different reasons for the development of autonomous cars.
The Chinese Internet group and Google competitor Baidu no longer rely on the cooperation with the German car maker BMW for the development of autonomous cars. The two companies had completed their joint research project, the news agency Reuters reported, citing representatives of both companies. Baidu is now looking for a global research partner. In the USA, Ford Lincoln models were already being used for tests.
In September 2014, Reuters reported that BMW would cooperate with Baidu in China and use high-resolution maps of the Internet group for its test vehicles. The test vehicles were to be tested on city streets in Beijing and Shanghai, it was then said.
BMW wants to continue using Baidus cards
Reasons for the end of the cooperation are different views on the future research objectives, said BMW’s China CEO Olaf Kastner, according to Reuters at the Guangzhow Autoausstellung. “We’ve seen the development speed and ideas of the two companies are a bit different,” said Kastner. Baidu and BMW had previously developed methods for an autonomous overtaking of cars. However, both companies do not want to complete their cooperation completely. This is particularly true of the use of high-precision maps, said Kastner.
Baidu is also cooperating with Chinese car makers Chery and Baic Motor. At an Internet conference in the Chinese Wuzhen, Baidu already presented test vehicles. There Baidu’s development team for autonomous driving, Wang Jing, said that he was already talking to numerous other potential partners. According to Reuters, Baidu plans to launch autonomous cars on a small scale in 2018. To a large extent this is planned for 2021.
BMW plans to present a self-propelled car in 2021. With the world’s largest chip maker Intel and the Israeli sensor specialist Mobileye as a partner, the Autokonzern wants to develop the necessary technology. The Group plans to build a development center with around 2,000 employees in the Greater Munich area.