Baidu and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group have jointly created a new company focusing on the production of self-driving cars.
The search giant will focus on developing intelligent driving capabilities for these cars while Geely, which creates vehicles under the Volvo, Lotus, and Geely brands, will contribute with its automobile design and manufacturing capabilities.
"At Baidu, we have long believed in the future of intelligent driving and have over the past decade invested heavily in artificial intelligence 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." Baidu CEO and cofounder Robin Li said.
Prior to this new joint venture, Baidu and Geely were already working together to develop self-driving technology and artificial intelligence platforms.
Over the past two years, Baidu has also been testing its self-driving car software, called Apollo, in public robotaxi trials across Beijing. These Apollo-run cars currently operate at Level 4 autonomy levels, according to the company, which means the cars can "perform all driving tasks and monitor the driving environment in certain circumstances".