BMW joins tech giant Baidu

web_photo_BMW_11072018

The BMW badge is seen on the bonnet of a 1963 BMW Isetta 300 during a media tour of the Fullerton Concours d'Elegance in Singapore June 29, 2018.

The BMW badge is seen on the bonnet of a 1963 BMW Isetta 300 during a media tour of the Fullerton Concours d'Elegance in Singapore June 29, 2018.

web_photo_BMW_11072018

The BMW badge is seen on the bonnet of a 1963 BMW Isetta 300 during a media tour of the Fullerton Concours d'Elegance in Singapore June 29, 2018.

The BMW badge is seen on the bonnet of a 1963 BMW Isetta 300 during a media tour of the Fullerton Concours d'Elegance in Singapore June 29, 2018.

BERLIN - BMW is set to join tech giant Baidu’s autonomous driving platform as a board member.

The German automaker signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week during a visit by the Chinese Premier to Germany.

Following years of internal development, Baidu opened up its platform to third parties.

At the time, this was welcomed as a move that would accelerate development and help the firm compete with US rivals Tesla and Google’s project Waymo.

German Vice-Chancellor Angela Merkel says the development of such technology is vital.

"Nothing beats seeing for yourself what is practically possible. We went on a little drive together and we both made it back in one piece.

"We have understood that it&39;s important to develop the technology which ensures that the car detects obstacles and objects and that it&39;s important to accurately capture the surroundings," said Merkel.