China’s search engine company Baidu and carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group over the weekend announced their plan to set up a new company that will produce smart electric vehicles.
"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." said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
As part of the strategic partnership between the two Chinese companies, Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles for the new venture, while Geely will deliver its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing.
Geely is a leading multinational car manufacturers with brands, including Volvo Cars, Lynk & Co and LEVC. For several years now, it has also been making the transition for being a traditional carmaker to a transport-technology company focusing on intelligent mobility. It has invested in technologies around “Internet of Vehicles”, intelligent driving, mobility services, vehicle processors and low orbit satellites whilst collaborating with global partners on next-generation mobility ecosystems.
The new company announcement comes on the heels of Geely’s newly launched pure electric architecture – Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) – touted as the world’s first open-sourced electric vehicle architecture.
The partners will integrate SEA, unveiled in September 2020, in next-generation EV models; while Baidu will bring its full portfolio of technologies, including Apollo autonomous driving, DuerOS for Apollo, and Baidu Maps, to help drive the new company’s growth.
"As a top Chinese automaker with global reach, Geely has the unique experience and resources to design, produce and market energy-efficient, reliable and safe automobiles in large scale. We believe that by combining Baidu's expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles and autonomous driving with Geely's expertise as a leading automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles,” Li said.