Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. announced on Friday the formation of a team in Silicon Valley focused on R&D for autonomous cars. The team will be part of Baidu’s newly-created Autonomous Driving Unit (ADU).

With the announcement, Silicon Valley becomes Baidu’s home turf for both their self-driving car team and Baidu Research’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL). Baidu has been working on self-driving cars since 2013, and aims to have them on the roads by 2018.

“Baidu is fully committed to making self-driving cars a reality,” said Jing Wang, SVP of Baidu and General Manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Unit in a statement. “Autonomous vehicles will save lives and make transportation more efficient. Baidu’s Silicon Valley car team will play a significant role in building the car of the future.”

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com