BMW and Baidu announced back in June that they would work together on self-driving car technology. But according to Reuters they are now parting ways and ending their joint research project. Baidu was using BMW 3 sedans for their on-road tests performance in China and had the same plan for the US as well.
After the announcement, it was made clear that Baidu was searching for a new global partner to make their ambitious goal for making self-driving cars a reality for consumers by 2018. Baidu is now using Ford vehicles for testing. Baidu already has ties with Ford because they both invested in Velodyne, a company that makes LIDAR sensors which are a must for navigation of autonomous vehicles. Via a ride-sharing service, Ford also plans to use self-driving cars by 2021.
Baidu decided to end the partnership because of disagreement rising from in which way the research project should be heading confirmed BMW China CEO Olaf Kastner to Reuters. “We now have found that the development pace and the ideas of the two companies are a little different.” Kastner didn’t mention any particular reason of discontent within the project but he mentioned that “the split comes after BMW and Baidu developed automatic overtaking technology or the ability for autonomous vehicles to pass other cars at various speeds. That behavior is widely seen as a key milestone in bringing self-driving cars to public roads.”
So who do you think will become the new partner of Baidu?