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BMW Group and Baidu Join Forces to Accelerate the Development of Autonomous Driving in China
10.07.2018 Press Release
Partners to explore additional joint projects in the field of autonomous driving technologies +++ BMW Group receives board member seat in Baidu’s Apollo initiative +++ MoU signed during visit of Premier Li to German chancellor Merkel
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Berlin/Beijing/Munich. Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) and the BMW Group today announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under which the BMW Group will join Apollo, the open autonomous driving platform by Baidu, as a board member. The partnership was made official during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Germany on July 10th to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The MoU marks the beginning of a new partnership on autonomous driving between the BMW Group and Baidu. The two companies seek to work together to bring safe, convenient and intelligent mobility experiences for consumers in China.
“BMW Group and Baidu have a long history of working together on advancing autonomous driving technology, and we have maintained a strong relationship throughout the years. BMW Group and Baidu have been actively exploring the intelligent vehicle sector and are well-aligned in our vision for the future of autonomous driving,” said Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu. “We hope this deepened cooperation will bring Chinese consumers intelligent and comfortable product experiences. Our aim is to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technologies that align with the Chinese market,” he added.
Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for development, said: “Strong ties between automotive and tech leaders are our key to success in the marathon towards autonomous driving. We are striving for consistent technology standards globally to overcome today’s regional discrepancy regarding speed of implementation and regulatory framework. With BMW Group and Baidu joining forces we can significantly accelerate the alignment of specific requirements and technological approaches to turn the vision of autonomous driving into reality for Chinese customers very soon.”
The BMW Group is developing an autonomous driving platform with technology solutions for Level 3 to Level 4/5 (highly to fully automated driving), as well as for advanced driving assistance systems (Level 2). This scalable autonomous driving solution is being developed with technology and OEM partners that contribute knowledge, resources and intellectual property assets for a state-of-the-art concept.
Apollo is an open platform that provides a comprehensive, secure and reliable solution that supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Since its launch in July, 2017, Apollo has brought together 118 global partners across both automotive and technology industries. Apollo’s success is built on its commitment to enabling developers and partners to accelerate the pace of innovation by opening capabilities and sharing resources.
Today’s announcement, which follows on the heels of a recent collaboration between the two companies on connected vehicles, marks the next level of Baidu’s and the BMW Group’s partnership in advancing the autonomous driving ecosystem.
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Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. Baidu aims to make a complex world simpler through technology. Baidu's ADSs trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU". Currently, ten ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share.
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was € 10.655 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.