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July 20, 2017

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Tie-ups on self-driving overseas

MICROSOFT is now one of Baidu’s many partners to collaborate on technical development and adoption of autonomous driving worldwide to drive the ambitions of the Chinese company’s artificial intelligence project to overseas markets.

Microsoft will provide cloud services to companies using Baidu’s self-driving platform under the Apollo project outside China, according to a joint statement.

The Apollo project is an open platform that provides a technical solution to support all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle.

Under the partnership, Nasdaq-listed Baidu and Microsoft plan to explore opportunities to deliver connected vehicle solutions and unique customer experiences to digitally transform the autonomous driving industry.

“By using Azure, our partners outside of China will have access to a trustworthy and secure public cloud, enabling them to focus on innovation instead of building their own cloud-based infrastructure,” said Baidu president Zhang Yaqin in a statement, referring to Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kevin Dalla said that by using its Azure platform “we can accelerate the work already being done to make autonomous vehicles safer.”

Research firm McKinsey estimated that up to 15 percent of new cars sold in 2030 will be fully autonomous.

Earlier this month at the AI Developer Conference, Baidu unveiled tie-ups with global automakers as well as 13 domestic carmakers and research institutes and mapping firms for its autonomous driving initiative.


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