U.S. automaker Ford has teamed up with Baidu, China's equivalent of Google, for a two-year autonomous vehicle test project in China.
Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles announced the partnership with Baidu's vice president and general manager of its Intelligent Driving Group Li Zhenyu on Wednesday in Beijing.
Under the agreement, the two companies will further advance the development and on-road testing of autonomous vehicles in China, the world's biggest auto market.
The collaboration is aligned with Ford's plans to further advance and promote autonomous vehicle technologies, supporting the company's vision of designing "smart vehicles for a smart world," Ford said in a statement.
"Working with a leading tech partner like Baidu allows us to leverage new opportunities in China to offer innovative solutions that improve safety, convenience and the overall mobility experience," Marakby said in a statement.
Ford's engineers in China have already converted the test vehicles into autonomous platforms to be fit with Baidu's Apollo Virtual Driver System. The tests will be conducted on open roads in Beijing that are specially designated for driverless testing, with the option of exploring further opportunities in other Chinese cities.
"Baidu and Ford both believe in using technology to redefine the future of mobility," said Li, adding that the project will combine the leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford's vehicle expertise, marking a significant step forward.