FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) on Friday said it would join China’s Apollo autonomous driving consortium, which was founded by Baidu, as it seeks to develop self-driving cars for the world’s largest market.
Baidu last year opened the Apollo consortium, which uses an open-source approach, to third parties to accelerate development of autonomous vehicles in the face of stiff competition from Google’s Waymo and U.S. carmaker Tesla.
Volkswagen will gain a seat on the management board of Apollo, the carmaker said.
Apollo has brought in more than 130 partners, including Germany’s BMW , and announced plans to begin testing self-driving cars with Ford by the end of this year.
The news comes as Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) explores a broad based partnership with Ford to develop electric and autonomous cars.
Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Michelle Martin and Douglas Busvine