As the electric vehicle market gains traction across the world, two China based companies have joined forces to make intelligent EVs.
Beijing headquartered search engine giant Baidu on Sunday unveiled its plan to enter into a strategic partnership with multinational auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely).
Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles for the new venture while Geely will contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing, the company said in a statement.
Headquartered in Hangzhou, Geely is one of China’s leading automakers. The company also owns Volvo Cars and has a stake in Daimler.
"At Baidu, we have long believed in the future of intelligent driving and have over the past decade invested heavily in AI to build a portfolio of world-class self-driving services. China has become the world's largest market for EVs, and we are seeing EV consumers demanding next generation vehicles to be more intelligent," Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu said.
Li also said that Geely has the unique experience and resources to design, produce and market energy-efficient, reliable and safe automobiles in large scale and by combining the expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles and autonomous driving, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles.
Baidu has been making inroads into the intelligent vehicles category. In 2017, it launched an autonomous vehicle project Apollo. In September 2020, the company announced it is rolling out Apollo Go Robotaxi service in Beijing.
Other Chinese companies are also trying to build a presence in the EV market. According to multiple media reports, automaker SAIC Motor Corp partnered with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to invest 1 billion yuan ($160 million) in a fund to develop Internet-connected cars.
In a recent announcement by the Indian government, Baidu was in the list of the banned Chinese apps in India.