November 2, 2018 / 1:22 PM / 14 days ago

VW taps Baidu's Apollo platform to develop self-driving cars in China

FILE PHOTO: The Volkswagen logo is seen on a vehicle, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

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 (GOOGL.O) Waymo and U.S. carmaker Tesla (TSLA.O).

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 (BMWG.DE), and announced plans to begin testing self-driving cars with Ford (F.N) 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

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