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Autonomous vehicle partnership to drive commercial applications

Suning Logistics, a subsidiary of Suning Holdings group, has signed a strategic partnership with Baidu Apollo to accelerate the commercial application of self-driving technology which could see the mass production of autonomous delivery vehicles as early as 2020.

Suning and Baidu, announced the partnership at the 'Baidu Create 2018' event in Beijing. The two parties also unveiled an unmanned delivery vehicle dubbed the 'MicroCar'. Equipped with Baidu’s L4-class intelligence system, the MicroCar has been designed to solve what Suning describes as “the last 5km delivery problems”.

Suning also introduced its smart logistics system, which includes terminal delivery scenarios providing opportunities for the self-driving technology of Baidu Apollo to be put into commercial use.

“By combining the rich smart community scenarios built by Suning, and the advanced unmanned self-driving technology developed by Baidu in its Apollo program, we are now significantly closer to realising the commercialisation of fully autonomous, self-driving technology," said Suning Logistics Vice President, Lu Junfeng. "In the future, with continued in-depth cooperation between Suning and Baidu, a new form of smart logistics community will better benefit the public by making their lives even easier."

The partnership with Baidu Apollo is part of Sunning’s strategy to provide fully automated logistics solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sunning will reportedly continue to collaborate with technology firms to build a smart logistics system in which self-driving trucks, automated vehicles and robots work seamlessly to complete the delivery job for humans.

Earlier this year, Australian data innovation group, CSIRO’s Data61, partnered with Chinese company ZongMu Technology to tackle one of the biggest issues facing autonomous vehicles.

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