Volvo Cars and Chinese internet giant Baidu have teamed up to develop and mass produce self-driving electric cars in China, the two firms said on Thursday.
The Swedish carmaker, which is owned by Chinese auto manufacturer Geely, will offer its expertise in advanced technologies in the auto industry, while Baidu provides its autonomous driving platform Apollo, the two companies said in separate statements.
The long-term aim is for the firms to sell vehicles that meet SAE International's Level 4 (L4) standard for driverless vehicles — meaning vehicles that do not require human intervention in certain conditions — to Chinese customers.
Financial information about the deal was not disclosed by either of the companies.
"With Baidu we take a big step forward in commercialising our autonomous compatible cars, built on Volvo's industry-leading safety technology," Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement.
"There is a strong development in autonomous drive in China, where Baidu is a leading player, and the market there offers huge opportunities for us as the supplier of choice for autonomous fleets."