Manufacturing News

VW to test automated cars equipped with Baidu software

Volkswagen Group is joining a slew of other global automakers in testing autonomous vehicles fitted with Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc.’s Apollo software platform.

Under an agreement signed with Baidu last week, VW will be granted a seat on Apollo’s management board. The first vehicle to undergo testing in China will be the electric Golf compact, VW said.

The test will initially focus on an automated parking service, which requires the application of Level 3 to Level 4 autonomous driving technology.

VW expects to complete the planned test of the e-Golf over the next few months.

VW is the largest automaker in China. In the first nine months of the year, the German auto giant delivered 3,309,800 vehicles under its various brands in China, an increase of 5 percent from the same period last year.

Apollo is a software package that allows automakers to use an entire suite or specific features for autonomous vehicles. Automakers can also integrate their technology with it.

More than 130 automakers and suppliers have teamed up with Baidu to develop Apollo-supported autonomous driving technology in China.

Last week, Volvo partnered with Baidu to develop fully autonomous vehicles for China while Ford Motor Co. teamed up with the Chinese Internet company to launch a two-year road test of self-driving vehicles in China.

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