Baidu Partners With Intel Amidst AI Push In China

Morning Report: China-based Baidu has partnered with Intel to enhance its autonomous vehicle platform, Apollo.

Chinese search behemoth Baidu has reportedly partnered with Intel’s Israel-based autonomous vehicle unit Mobileye. According to Venturebeat, the partnership will allow Baidu to incorporate Mobileye’s Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) system into Baidu’s autonomous vehicle software platform Apollo launched in 2017. Mobileye was acquired by Intel for $15.3 billion in March 2017, according to Crunchbase.

This deal comes on the heels of Baidu’s production announcement for its autonomous minibuses, Apolong, which it plans to launch in tourist-centric and geofenced areas of Beijing, Shenzhen, Pingtan, and Wuhan, according to TechCrunch.

Like many other companies building out autonomous vehicle projects, Baidu has initiated partnerships with various car companies and ridesharing services including Grab, Ford, Delphi, Honda, and Jaguar.

Baidu launched its $1.5 billion equity investment fund Apollo Fund in September 2017 to invest in startups and boost its own platform. Alibaba and Tencent have also made significant moves in the autonomous vehicle and artificial intelligence space including Alibaba’s creation of Alibaba AI Labs and its partnership with Sensetime.

As Crunchbase News has explored in the past, where Chinese government endorsement exists, money follows. For those operating in favorable verticals, these government-backed initiatives often mean an open regulatory environment and room to experiment. The Chinese government is betting that China will win the autonomous vehicle race, and tech giants are there to push that initiative forward.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

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Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias

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