Ford and Chinese tech giant Baidu will embark on a two-year project to jointly test the SAE Level 4-capable autonomous vehicles on-road in Beijing.
Ford is the founding member of the Apollo Committee, an advisory group for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform. Upon completion of the development and testing process, the vehicles will be capable of operating autonomously within a specific geographic area and under certain weather conditions.
A team of Ford engineers at the company’s Nanjing Research and Engineering Center (REC) was set up to convert the vehicles into Autonomous Vehicle Platforms (AVPs) in order to prepare them to be compatible with Baidu’s Apollo Virtual Driver System (VDS).
All vehicles have now been equipped with the VDS and related hardware and are ready for testing. The tests will be conducted on open roads in Beijing that are specially designated for AV testing, with the option of exploring further opportunities in other Chinese cities in the future in accordance with local regulations, the company said.