July 10, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 7 days ago

BMW to join board of Baidu's autonomous driving platform Apollo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with tech giant Baidu to join its autonomous driving platform Apollo as a board member, BMW said on Tuesday.

The BMW logo is seen on a vehicle at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The MoU was signed during a visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Germany.

After years of internal development, Baidu last year decided to open its autonomous driving technology to third parties, a move it hopes will accelerate development and help it compete with U.S. firms Tesla and Google project Waymo.

“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,” BMW development chief Klaus Froehlich said in Tuesday’s statement.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Arno Schuetze

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