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Volvo Cars has reached an agreement with Baidu, Chinese internet search provider, to jointly develop electric and fully autonomous drive-compatible cars with the aim of mass producing them for China.
The partnership will allow both companies to develop and sell these vehicles to potential Chinese customers. Volvo Cars and Baidu will pool resources to take the next step and prepare for mass manufacturing of fully electric and autonomous cars, according to the agreement.
Industry forecasts show that China is likely to become the single largest market for autonomous cars in the world in the coming decades. Market research firm HIS Markit predicted earlier this year that around 14.5 million autonomous cars will be sold in China by 2040, on a total global volume of around 33 million.