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Volvo partners with China's Baidu to develop autonomous, electric vehicles

by Drew Johnson

Volvo is working toward an autonomous future.

Volvo is teaming up with Baidu, one of China's leading internet search providers, to develop electric and autonomous vehicles for the Chinese market.According to the terms of the pact, Volvo will supply "access to its expertise and advanced technologies of the car industry," while Baidu will bring to the table its own autonomous driving platform known as Apollo. The agreement will allow both companies to sell the jointly developed vehicles to Chinese customers."With Baidu we take a big step forward in commercializing our autonomous compatible cars, built on Volvo's industry-leading safety technology," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. "There is a strong development in autonomous drive in China, where Baidu is a leading player, and the market there offers huge opportunities for us as the supplier of choice for autonomous fleets."China is already the world's largest vehicle market, and the country is also expected to be the world's largest buyer of autonomous vehicles in the coming years. In fact, by 2040, China is expected to account for nearly half of worldwide autonomous vehicle sales.Volvo has not announced if the electric and autonomous vehicles developed with Baidu will be marketed in other regions.