China-based search engine giant Baidu Inc has announced its partnership with multinational auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) to establish a company to produce intelligent electric vehicles (EV).
Through this partnership, Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles for the new venture, and Geely, which holds the distinction of best-selling Chinese automobile brand in past years under the Volvo and Geely brands, will contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing.
“At Baidu, we have long believed in the future of intelligent driving and have over the past decade invested heavily in AI to build a portfolio of world-class self-driving services,” Robin Li, Co-founder and CEO of Baidu, said in a statement.
According to Li, China has become the world’s largest market for EVs, and Baidu is seeing EV consumers demanding next-generation vehicles to be more intelligent. “As a top Chinese automaker with global reach, Geely has the unique experience and resources to design, produce and market energy-efficient, reliable and safe automobiles in large scale,” Li said.
“We believe that by combining Baidu’s expertise in smart transportation, connected vehicles and autonomous driving with Geely’s expertise as a leading automobile and EV manufacturer, the new partnership will pave the way for future passenger vehicles,” Li added.
According to the International Energy Agency, there were 7.2 million electric cars on the road globally by 2019, with 47 per cent of them in China.