Volvo Cars and the Chinese internet giant Baidu have agreed to cooperate and jointly develop fully electric and autonomous vehicles for the Chinese market, before entering serial production with them.
The first result of the cooperation is expected to be completed “some time after 2020”. It is also still unclear which Volvo platform (SPA2 or CMA) will be used as a basis for the autonomous BEV. Baidu has already announced their intention to use their Apollo platform for the autonomous driving venture.
The deal with Baidu is a further step towards the ambitious autonomous driving targets set by the Swedes, further proving their commitment in the technological area. A year ago, Volvo announced that they intended to manufacture no less than 24,000 vehicles for ride-share company Uber in the period between 2019 and 2021. These vehicles will already be prepared for autonomous technology, meaning that Volvo has a bit of work to do by next year. The model which will provide the basis for the Uber EVs is the Volvo XC90 with a plug-in hybrid motor system.