Ford, Baidu mark latest big companies to invest in driverless car tech
August 17, 2016
Ford (NYSE: F) and Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) have come together to invest $150 million in Velodyne LiDAR, a developer of sensors used in a variety of commercial applications including automotive safety systems, autonomous driving and 3D mobile mapping. Ford also announced that it plans to launch a fleet of autonomous cars as part of a ride-hailing service by 2021.
The investment and announcement take Ford another big step into the fray surrounding autonomous vehicles. Earlier this year, Lyft and GM announced a partnership in which they’d work together to launch a fleet of self-driving taxis within a year. Other notable companies known to be working on similar tech include Uber, Google, Apple and Tesla.
As this space continues to heat up, it will be interesting to see how these corporations compete and work together. Is it possible that tech companies like Google and Apple will be able to bring their own offerings to market? Will the legacy car companies leverage their experience to gain an advantage? Will we see more alliances form? Time will tell. Until then, read more of our ridesharing coverage here.