German car parts supplier Bosch has announced it's teaming up with companies in China to create precise maps to be used for autonomous driving. It said the driverless car concept was very popular in the Asian nation.
Germany's Bosch on Wednesday announced a new partnership with China's internet giant Baidu und local mapping software providers AutoNavi and Navinfo.
Speaking to reporters at the Shanghai motor show, Bosch said there was still a grave lack of precise and up-to-date mapping material required for autonomous driving. Bosch executive Rolf Bulander said his company had forged a new alliance with partners on the ground to change that.
He added that data from Bosch's high-tech radar and video sensors would be used to create better mapping technology, which would be able to identify the exact position of vehicles on the road as a prerequisite for reliable and safe driverless car systems.
No time to waste
Bosch added a first new map for China would be completed by the end of the year. The company did not reveal any financial details for the joint venture.
Together with Baidu, the German car parts supplier is to test a semi-autonomous vehicle on a Chinese highway, drawing from its experience from similar tests in Germany, the US and Japan.
According to a recent poll by the Lightspeed Research institute, autonomous driving is far more popular in China than it is in Germany and elsewhere. The think tank says 74 percent of Chinese respondents came out in favor of introducing driverless cars as quickly as possible.
In the US and Germany, only little over 30 percent of those polled favored autonomous driving.
hg/rd (Reuters, dpa)