BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese internet giant Baidu has announced a strategic partnership with automobile manufacturers BAIC Motor to expand the smart vehicle sector.
Baidu's autonomous driving research and development arm, Baidu Intelligent Vehicle, will work with BAIC on two key projects.
They plan to launch a car model driven by Baidu's telematics solutions in the first half of this year and road test the BAIC's limited self-driving cars by the end of this year.
Baidu president Zhang Yaqin said intelligent vehicle technology is an increasingly important area for Baidu.
"We are delighted to be partnering with BAIC, one of the most active automobile manufacturers worldwide in promoting smart software," he said.
"We look forward to working together to establish a smart vehicle ecosystem to support this important industry trend."
Under the agreement, the companies will also cooperate on level 3 autonomous driving technology including high definition maps, while Baidu will provide BAIC with intelligent vehicle original equipment manufacturer (OEM) solutions including CarLife, CoDriver, and MapAuto.
Baidu and BAIC will also launch a research lab to promote technological collaboration and the mass application of intelligent vehicle technology.
The CarLife, a smartphone integration application for connected cars, has been deployed in nearly 150 car models from 60 automobile manufacturers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Shanghai GM (including Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands), and counts over 700,000 car owners as active users.
The announcement about the partnership was made during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show held between Jan 5 and 8 in Las Vegas.
It wasn't the only collaboration announded at the show.
Nissan unveiled plans to integrate Microsoft's digital assistant into some of its vehicles and Ford has become the first automaker to bring Amazon Echo, a voice controller that uses artificial intelligence, into their cars. (chinadaiy.com.cn)