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Baidu forming global alliance develop AI in open source platform

Tinuku ~ Baidu forming a global alliance to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in autonomous cars. Beijing-based Internet search engine operator Baidu Inc. said it has formed the world's largest and diversified alliance with more than 50 partners to accelerate the commercialization of artificial intelligence using open-source platforms.

Tinuku Baidu forming global alliance develop AI in open source platform

Baidu has formed a broad alliance to promote and commercialize self-riding cars using the Apollo Project platform. The alliance includes partnerships with car manufacturers, suppliers, startups, universities and local governments developed at a technology center in Silicon Valley California.

The company on Wednesday said more than 50 companies, including Chery Automobile, BAIC Motor, FAW Group Corp., Chongqing Changan Automobile. Great Wall Motor, Ford, Daimler, UCAR and Grab Taxi. This is the first partnership since Baidu launched the open automation platform, Project Apollo, in mid-April.

Other companies involved in the partnership are Bosch, ZF Friedrichshafen, Continental Automotive, Delphi Automotive, Intel, Nvidia and Microsoft Cloud, five top Chinese universities and six local governments, including Wuhu city in Anhui province and Baoding city in Hebei province.

Baidu's chief operating officer Lu Qi said the open-source platform is designed as a "win-win" to promote artificial intelligence as almost all car manufacturing industries use it. Lu said Baidu will establish subsidiaries in the United States and Singapore to support Apollo development.

Baidu competes in autonomous vehicles with Goolge's Waymo in the United States and Nissan in Japan, while Baidu's position in China competes with Alibaba Group, Tencent and JD.com. Lu said Baidu has long used AI to optimize core business such as web search and Baidu mobile applications.

"I see a lot of potential use of AI to grow our new business, such as autonomous driving and DuerOS, into a core business," Lu said.

Baidu is an investor at Nio, a startup electric vehicle headquartered in Silicon Valley which is also supported by Tencent Holdings and Lenovo. Nio hopes to apply the first self-driving car on US roads by 2020.

Two weeks ago Baidu and Chery officials met in Silicon Valley to sign an agreement to collaborate on the development of smart vehicles connected to the Internet. Chery has installed Baidu software in some prototype cars and they will deepen further partnerships in manufacturing.

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