Chinese search giant Baidu, which has invested in self-driving technologies for several years, is driving more directly into car manufacturing with plans to make intelligent electric vehicles with domestic automaker Geely.
The tie-up, through the formation of a new company, marks the latest pairing between a tech giant and conventional carmaker to co-develop smart vehicles, as China doubles down on efforts to build intelligent transportation systems.
The new company will be an independent subsidiary of Baidu, which will provide intelligent driving technology as Geely oversees the manufacture of actual cars, Baidu said in a statement on Monday.
The new development could also help the financial fortunes of Baidu’s Apollo platform, which specializes in autonomous driving technology. In 2017, Baidu created Apollo, which gives third-party partners access to key technologies for autonomous driving. The company also operates its Go Robotaxi service in several Chinese cities with plans to expand it to 30 cities in three years.
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