Chinese tech giant Baidu announced signing strategic cooperation agreements with two of China’s leading automotive companies, BAIC Group and Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. (“King Long”). Baidu and BAIC Group, one of the largest automakers in China, will mass-produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features around 2019 and fully autonomous Level 4 cars around 2021.

Baidu also signed a strategic partnership agreement with King Long, a leading Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer. Together the two companies will put autonomous buses that run on designated areas into mass production and trial operation by the end of July 2018.

Two of these strategic partnerships is a pavement for Baidu’s open-source autonomous driving platform Apollo. The platform was announced in July where TechNode actually had a chance to test drive Apollo 1.0. This September, Baidu’s announced an RMB 10 billion fund for autonomous driving and the release of Apollo 1.5.

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Eva Yoo

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