Ford and Baidu set to launch joint venture to test autonomous vehicles in China
The US-based automotive giant, Ford, and Chinese internet company, Baidu, has announced plans to launch a joint venture that will see the two firms collaborate to test autonomous vehicles in China for two years, CNBC reports.
The agreement will see the two companies team up to develop and test driverless vehicles that meet the Level 4 standard ordered by US industry organisation, SAE International.
In a statement on Wednesday (31 October), Sherif Marakby, President and CEO of Ford's autonomous vehicles unit said: “Working with a leading tech partner like Baidu allows us to leverage new opportunities in China to offer innovative solutions that improve safety, convenience and the overall mobility experience.”
“This project marks a new milestone in the partnership between Ford and Baidu, and supports Ford's vision to design smart vehicles that transform how we get around.”
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With Ford’s self-driving vehicles already kitted out with Baidu’s autonomous driving system, Apollo, the on-road testing of the driverless vehicles is expected to start by the end of 2018.
“Baidu and Ford both believe in using technology to redefine the future of mobility” Zhenyu Li, Vice President and General Manager of Baidu's intelligent driving group.
“This project will combine our leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford's vehicle expertise, marking a significant step forward towards Baidu's goal of developing autonomous driving vehicles that will greatly benefit future consumers.”
The companies are yet to confirm the financial terms or ownership structure details of the collaboration.
SAP Whitepaper: Advantages of Intelligent Assets
A core pillar in SAP’s Industry 4.0 strategy, Intelligent Assets equip organisations to reduce downtime, empower employees and increase efficiencies across industrial equipment and manufacturing units.
In a whitepaper produced in partnership between SAP and BizClik Media Group, Rachel Romanoski, Solutions Manager, Digital Assets, SAP, dispels some of the myths surrounding asset intelligent, and shares insight into how even small investment in asset intelligence can pay dividends in minimising cost leakage and realising an asset’s potential.
As with all innovations, the ceiling for Intelligent Assets is as high as an organisation can dream, afford and implement. But Romanoski says that just a little intelligence can go a long way: “Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology. They can be super advanced, such as leveraging physics-based engineering simulations to forecast potential failures, and help mitigate them. But it could be as simple as a temperature reading. You can pull a lot of simple information from most equipment, and by enhancing that data through ancillary solutions and digital capabilities, you can create that Intelligent Asset.”
One of the most immediate benefits is reducing or, in some cases, eliminating unplanned downtime. Equipment failure is one of the most common causes of disruption and can cause chaos throughout the supply chain.
“The true power of the Intelligent Asset is in changing the basic, reactive emergency work or time-based, planned maintenance and being more prescriptive and tailored to that specific asset and use case,” Romanoski says. “Ultimately, you can reduce the unplanned events that often carry a big price tag.”
"Oftentimes people think Intelligent Assets need to be the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology... But it could be as simple as a temperature reading"
Other financial benefits include stemming cost leakage and “sweating assets” to the full potential. “Maybe you can consider the lifecycle of the asset and understand whether you can push it a little bit further,” Romanoski explains. “It might be that the best course of action for a low-cost item is to run it to failure. Having this information that we collect over time empowers those people to make those better decisions, but also has a trickle down effect to building resiliency and efficiency into the entire supply chain.”
To read the full report, including insight from Intelligent Assets, Intelligent Factories, Empowered People, and exclusive insight from Dominik Metzger, the lead on SAP’s Industry 4.0 programme, CLICK HERE.