Harman and Baidu team up on in-car AI for Chinese automakers

At the Shanghai Auto Show on this week, global automotive supplier Harman announced a new partnership with Baidu, the leading Chinese internet services provider. The team-up brings together Samsung-owned Harman’s extensive reach among automakers, and existing expertise in-car infotainment systems, with Baidu’s leading role in China’s AI software economy.

Baidu will develop cloud-based AI solutions for use in cars in partnership with Harman, across efforts that include building Baidu’s DuerOS voice-based personal assistant into cars. DuerOS is a bit like an Alexa for the Chinese market, with an open platform that’s accessible to makers of many categories of consumer devices, including speakers, TVs, phones and more. With Harman, Baidu will focus on tailoring DuerOS for automotive use cases, with speech recognition and natural language process capabilities in both English and Mandarin.

Harman and Baidu previously teamed up to launch a solution called CarLife that offers networked, Internet-based features accessible via networked in-car infotainment systems. And the partnership sounds like it’ll only grow closer from here: The work both companies are doing in the car with DuerOS is expected to eventually make its way back to smart speakers, another area where Harman is a global international powerhouse.