Will your first stand-alone car be “Made in China”? In any case Baidu accelerates its development strategy in order to catch Google, Uber, Tesla and Apple. After publishing its automated software in Open Source and then signed some fifty partnership contracts to extend its functionalities, Baidu has officially joined forces with Microsoft. The American cloud platform will run Apollo cars outside of China.
Baidu put the turbo in its autonomous car project
While Google has been testing autonomous cars since 2010, manufacturers from all over the world are leading all-out experiments with their equipment manufacturers, a new actor is emerging, the Chinese Baidu, the “Chinese Google”. The autonomous car project appeared in broad daylight in 2015 but it is as early as 2013 that Chinese artificial intelligence engineers have started their studies. Since then, various vehicles equipped with Chinese software have been launched to conquer Chinese and then American roads. Robin Lin, the founder of Baidu, chose to open his technology by publishing his source code on Github , under Open Source license. At the same time, Baidu has been pursuing a strategy of reaching out to the Chinese automotive industry, but also to the western and particularly German.
About fifty partners behind Baidu, both Asian and Western
Among the 50 announced partners, Chinese automakers Chery Automobile, FAW Group, Changan and Great Wall, but also Ford and Daimler. Baidu drew Bosch, Continental and ZF nets. As for computers and electronics, the manufacturer of LIDAR Velodyne is mounted in the Apollo capsule as well as NVidia which once again affirms its ambitions in the automotive sector.
Other IT partner and weight ally for Baidu, Microsoft. The US will provide China with its global cloud infrastructure to deliver the server services needed to operate a fleet of vehicles under Apollo. Baidu has its own cloud infrastructure and has a research center in Silicon Valley, but no data centers capable of supporting such a service in the West. Microsoft will provide its partner with this necessary infrastructure.
Translation : Google Translate
“Baidu’s Apollo Lifts Off: Microsoft Taking Open-Source Robocar Project Global”, Forbes, July 18, 2017
“无人驾驶群战升级，百度揽下博世、大陆两张王牌”, Communiqué Baidu/Apollo, June 1st, 2017
“百度亮相中国汽车论坛 要与伙伴们合作共赢加速创新”, Communiqué Baidu/Apollo, May 16, 2017
“Baidu’s Self-Driving Car Has Hit the Road”, Wired, December 9, 2015