Baidu, the internet company, or the search giant of the East Asian nation, is interested in making its own electric cars.
Baidu is in talks with automakers about the possibility, and is the company’s latest move in the tech industry race to develop smart cars.
The search giant has also developed autopilot technology and networking infrastructure. Now Baidu is considering contracting to manufacture, or creating a joint venture that is largely owned by the company with other automakers, some sources say.
Other famous internet companies such as Tencent, Amazon and Alphabet have all developed technologies related to cars or invested in smart car startups.
Baidu also had initial discussions – yet to reach any decision – with automakers such as Zhejiang Geely Holding, Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) and Hongqi (Hongqi) on a possible establishment. Venture.
Baidu is currently not responding to comment. GAC said there is already a strategic partnership with Baidu and further cooperation is the topic of discussion. Geely said she was not close to Baidu. FAW also did not comment.
After the news that Baidu was in talks with the automakers was published, the shares of all related brands rose.
Baidu launched the Apollo Go Robotaxi driverless taxi service in 2017. Apollo is mainly powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and works with car manufacturers like Geely, Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford.
Baidu operates Apollo Go Robotaxi under the supervision of an on-vehicle driver (called a safety driver) in Beijing, Trường Sa (Hunan province) and Cangzhou (Hebei). The company plans to expand to 30 cities over the next three years and has just been allowed to test five vehicles in Beijing without the need for a safe driver.
Last November, Didi Chuxing – the Chinese ride-hailing application – and BYD electric car company launched a van for ride-hailing service. In January, tech giant Sony introduced an electric concept car with self-driving features.