China’s Baidu continues to make inroads in the automotive space after it inked an agreement with Ford China that will see the two companies work together to make the driving experience smarter in China.
The two companies have collaborated before, most notably by jointly investing $150 million into LiDAR sensors startup Velodyne, and this China initiative will help bring technologies like connectivity, artificial intelligence and digital marketing into the car.
That will include a new in-vehicle system and services that are based on Baidu’s DuerOS AI platform, which in turn is part of Baidu’s Apollo platform, aka “the Android for cars”; it counts Ford as a founding member. Some of the more notable features of Duer in the car include voice recognition, natural language understanding and image recognition.
In addition, the duo will establish “a joint connectivity lab to investigate innovation opportunities across their automotive and mobility businesses in China.” In particular, that will focus on cloud-based services, which include AI and potential integrations with Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), which is being developed by Ford subsidiary Autonomic.