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Chinese automaker teams up with Baidu

Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and IT giant Baidu has announced their artificial intelligence partnership.

The two parties will jointly explore the development of AI applications in the automotive ecosystem, intelligent connectivity, and smart mobility, with the long-term aim of accelerating the large-scale popularization of intelligent connected vehicles in China and internationally.

Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Robin Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Baidu, revealed the deal at the 2019 Baidu Create, Baidu's AI development conference in Beijing.

"China's intelligent connected vehicle technology is now at the forefront of the world, bringing consumers a safe and convenient travel experience," said Li Shufu.

"Baidu is a leader within the AI industry in China, and also a pioneer in promoting industrial intelligence with their globally leading AI R&D capability and deep technical insight in the field of intelligent driving," Li said.

Li of Geely Auto said that "through strategic cooperation and resource collaboration, the two sides are committed to jointly building an intelligent mobility ecosphere to lead the future, and create a brand-new experience for users."

"This strategic cooperation between Baidu and Geely, focusing on AI technology empowerment, will not only bring about more natural and convenient human-car interaction, but also accelerate the intelligentization of the automobile and mobility service industry, helping the Chinese automotive industry become a leader in the era of smart mobility," Robin said.

At the conference, the two chairmen interacted on stage with Geely Auto's latest intelligent SUV, the Bo Yue PRO.

This new model is equipped with Baidu's AI system through Geely's GKUI19 smart ecosystem. The vehicle is Geely's most advanced one to date and is effectively a highly integrated mobile terminal with the ability to connect people, cars and homes.

Geely Auto will implement the Baidu AI-equipped GKUI19 system throughout its product portfolio in due course.

Robin said, "The major advances in the history of mobility are accompanied by new changes brought about by cutting-edge technology. Geely Auto, through their years of achievements and innovations, has become a leader in China's automotive industry."

As AI is seen as a significant source of productivity and opportunities, more Chinese IT companies are partnering with auto companies to promote intelligent mobility service platforms.

German auto giant BMW signed a deal with Chinese IT company Alibaba early this year at CES in Las Vegas, US. They will integrate its intelligent voice assistant, Tmall Genie, into cars including the BMW 3-and 5-series range. The service will become available later this year.

According to China Unicom, the number of Chinese users of V2X – vehicle to everything technology – will surpass 40 million by 2020. They are to account for more than 60 percent of the world's market. It is expected to be worth more than 200 billion yuan ($29.19 billion).

The competition in the world's largest auto market is quite fierce. Besides Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi, Google and Amazon are also providing vehicle connectivity technologies. At the same time, carmakers are also developing their own intelligent systems.

(China Daily)