Baidu wants to foster innovation by allowing for a common platform.

Chinese Tech giant Baidu is making its autonomous vehicle development platform freely available to the auto industry, the company announced Wednesday.

The move could foster innovation in the sector and allow for improved cooperation and standardization of autonomous vehicle hardware and software.

More to the point, however, it could also allow Baidu to catch up with more-established industry leaders; Baidu will start by opening up tech for "restricted" environments, with the goal of opening up all aspects of development to the industry at large by 2020.

Baidu has permits to test autonomous technology in California, TechCrunch reports, and the company has established partnerships with established automotive manufacturers and suppliers.

These partnerships give Baidu an edge in compatibility which could be further augmented with the move toward an open-source platform.