China's Internet search giant Baidu has signed an agreement with Softbank's autopilot subsidiary, SB Drive, to enter the autopilot market in Japan.
Baidu and SB Drive have previously invested in the field of autopilot, and the cooperation between the two sides aims to integrate their systems into a big bus model and start testing by the end of this year. Xiamen Jinlong United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. will be responsible for the production of these buses. The aim of the company is to send 10 autopilot buses to Japan by the end of 2019.
The Chinese government regards AI as the focus of China's industrial development plan in 2025. Baidu is regarded as one of the leading enterprises in the field of artificial intelligence in China's autonomous driving core technology.
Baidu and SB Drive will initially test drive in the enclosed area, but hope to start trial driving on public roads soon. Baidu has begun testing automatic driving cars in Xiong an new area, China.