Baidu – a well-known internet search company in China is all set to announce its allies from the auto industry who will join Baidu to work on its self-driving project. According to some reports, Chery Automobile; one of China’s largest carmaker will also take part in Baidu’s self-driving program.
The project is to be unveiled in Beijing, however, it is the fruit of hard work that is done overseas, to be more precise in the Silicon Valley. Reportedly, Baidu is working with over 30 Chinese companies in the US and are actively focusing on developing hardware and software to create autonomous and connected vehicles. Baidu plans to introduce massive fleets of autonomous care in China, which is the world’s largest market for auto. The company also has a similar ambition for the US market and hence making a strong effort to put all the pieces in the right spots. Similar to that of Waymo, which is the auto division of Google, Baidu is applying what it has learned in artificial intelligence and mapping technology to develop the system and software needed to bring self-driving into reality.
The project was revealed in April and is named after NASA’s moon-landing project “Apollo”. The name itself clearly indicate the gauge of the company’s ambition. However, this still doesn’t guarantees any massive success in the one of the most challenging area of the technology world. Jing Wang former manager of the company’s self-driving division and Andrew Ng Chief scientist resigned earlier this year and went on to form their own startups. The company believes that there is an intense competition for talent apparently. On the bright side Baidu has a geographical upper-edge over Waymo as it has it presence both in China and the US, whereas Alphabet has no footprint in China, as Google stopped its operations in China few years ago. Baidu is amongst the first few of new generation Chinese firms that have a base in the Silicon Valley, which was set up in 2011. The company’s focus was to tap the world’s richest pool of tech talents. Ever since, the company has portrayed itself as key Chinese technology firm making a number of acquisitions as well as entering several partnerships. Over the past couple of years, Baidu has created a core tech pool through recruiting from leading universities in the U.S. and form established leaders in the tech and auto sector, including Microsoft, Facebook and Google.