VOLKSWAGEN JOINS BAIDU’S APOLLO PLATFORM FOR AUTONOMOUS DRIVING TECHNOLOGIES IN CHINA
> China-specific development project from Volkswagen for autonomous driving
> e-Golf prepared for first joint project, developing automated parking services, like Valet Parking
> Volkswagen takes seat on Apollo Board of Directors
Beijing (China) / Wolfsburg (D) – Volkswagen has entered Apollo, the autonomous driving technology platform of leading Chinese internet company Baidu. The cooperation was announced during an Apollo board meeting in Xiongan, home of the newly created special testing area for autonomous driving, south of China’s capital, Beijing. Volkswagen will take a seat on the Apollo Board of Directors. Mr. Sven Patuschka, Executive Vice President R&D Technology Asia at Volkswagen (China) Investment Co., Ltd., said, “Volkswagen is committed to contributing to, speeding up, and developing autonomous driving technology and smart city solutions in China. We therefore see Apollo’s open-source model as a promising way to tackle the many technological, regulatory and ethical aspects that come with automated driving. A first concrete project is in the starting blocks already.”
Volkswagen will start testing activities using an e-Golf fitted with the Apollo software. “Our first joint development project focuses on an automated parking service, Valet Parking, for which Level 3 to Level 4 autonomous driving technology is needed,” continued Patuschka. “With our R&D network across brands, including Volkswagen and Audi, we bring a strong team to Apollo. Our aim is to complete concrete first testing results quickly, within the next couple of months. These results could serve as a base for the series development of customer-relevant features. We are currently investigating further possible areas of development within Apollo.”
Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu, said, “Baidu’s Apollo has always been committed to going beyond geographical boundaries with autonomous driving technology, as well as actively pushing cross-industry collaboration and jointly promoting a more complete autonomous driving product matrix. Volkswagen has extensive influence in both the Chinese and global auto markets. We are delighted to welcome Volkswagen to join the board of Baidu Apollo. Baidu will work together with Volkswagen to unleash the combined strengths of leading AI technology plus powerful car-making know-how, to jointly promote the development and innovation of the global autonomous driving industry."
Apollo is an open data and software platform connecting the automotive, IT and electronics industries. With a complete set of capabilities for the vehicle platform, Apollo integrates all facets of autonomous driving, including hardware development, software, cloud services, and so on. An ecosystem of over 130 partners contributes to the development of various elements and the overall system, underlying the open nature of the platform and its focus on inclusive partnerships across a diversity of industries.
Volkswagen is globally ramping up activities in the area of innovative technologies. Joining the Apollo platform and its Board of Directors further underlines the company’s ambitions in the rapidly developing field of autonomous driving. Research projects under the Apollo banner will also further strengthen the already close ties between Volkswagen and its most important market globally, China.