ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Chinese Internet company Baidu have announced a new strategic cooperation. The two partners intend to collaborate in the areas of autonomous driving and telematics as well as mobility services to develop extensive technical solutions for autonomous driving in China.
“With Baidu, we have a partner onboard that has outstanding expertise with artificial intelligence, big data and cloud-based service solutions,” says ZF CEO Dr. Stefan Sommer. “This information is fundamental for the technologies needed for autonomous driving. With our vehicle control system ZF ProAI, we can merge this information with other data from car-to-X communication and offer our customers autonomous driving solutions as a one-stop supplier.”
ZF and Baidu intend to bring their specific know-how to the new technology alliance and promote knowledge sharing of technologies – helping to take autonomous driving and telematics forward in China. New business models for the Chinese market are expected to emerge based on the established market position of both companies.
Robin Wu, vice-president of Baidu, added: “The popularity of autonomous driving is now facing the problems such as reformation of industrial structure and technology innovation, etc. Therefore the cooperation is the key to accelerate the actual utilisation of autonomous driving and business commercialization.”
Since 2013, Baidu has invested increasingly in research and development for autonomous vehicle systems. In April this year, the company launched ‘Project Apollo’ which is an open, completed and secured platform to help automotive and autonomous driving partners to accelerate building their own exclusive autonomous driving system based on vehicle and hardware systems.