Ford shares are higher Wednesday, after the US car manufacturer announced it is set to embark upon a two-year autonomous car testing phase with tech firm Baidu. The two-year test period will be on certain roads in Beijing and should result in the development of autonomous capabilities, in particular conditions, by the end of the period.
By 1350 BST, Ford shares were 1.27% higher at $9.58. The stock has recently reversed some previous declines.
Ford, Baidu partnership
US car maker Ford and Chinese internet giant Baidu, jointly announced earlier Wednesday they’re plans to begin testing autonomous vehicle tech in Beijing, before the end of 2018. The move comes as car makers around the world step up ambitions and investment into self-driving vehicle technology.
“Working with a leading tech partner like Baidu allows us to leverage new opportunities in China to offer innovative solutions that improve safety, convenience and the overall mobility experience,” said Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles.
“This project marks a new milestone in the partnership between Ford and Baidu, and supports Ford’s vision to design smart vehicles that transform how we get around,” Marakby added.
Autonomous tech development
Over the two-year testing period, Ford and Baidu said they will develop more advanced self-driving technology. Indeed, the partnership expects to have developed technology that will allow autonomous vehicles to operate, in set circumstances and weather conditions, by the end of the period.
“Baidu and Ford both believe in using technology to redefine the future of mobility,” said Zhenyu Li, Vice President and General Manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group.
“This project will combine our leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford’s vehicle expertise, marking a significant step forward towards Baidu’s goal of developing autonomous driving vehicles that will greatly benefit future consumers,” Zhenyu Li added.
Testing will initially begin in Beijing, with the possibility of using roads in additional Chinese cities.