Google Search Rival Baidu Announces Electric Car Company

The tech industry is slowly but surely becoming more and more interested in the automotive market. While Apple has so far remained completely tight-lipped on its plans for an electric vehicle, China's Baidu has moved a lot faster.
Baidu hasn't provided any specifics as to when the first car is supposed to go live 1 photo
Photo: Caixin Global
This weekend, the Google search rival confirmed it joined forces with Geely to create a new company focused on the production of electric vehicles.

Geely will be in charge of the manufacturing process, while Baidu will take care of the software and technology to power it, as the company has already invested heavily in code that would eventually help it expand in this market.

Baidu has previously launched an autonomous taxi service in Beijing, with the cars powered by a software project known as Apollo. Most likely, Apollo would make its way to the new electric cars as well, though, for the time being, only a few specifics have been shared.

Apollo-powered tech has also been licensed to other carmakers, including Volkswagen and Toyota.

Like Google, Baidu has invested aggressively in other technologies that could eventually make their way to the automotive market, including navigation software and digital assistants, to power a hands-free experience behind the wheel. Baidu Maps is currently one of the most popular navigation solutions in China, and it’s available for Android devices at no cost.

Baidu hasn’t provided an ETA as to when its first electric vehicle could get the go-ahead, but the company explained in a press release this new project comes as a natural step given the new trends in the market.

"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.

Baidu has previously explored a new electric vehicle company with several other Chinese manufacturers, including GAC and FAW.

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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