A Look at Baidu’s Apollo Project
Building an Android for cars
Baidu (BIDU) dreams of creating an Android-like platform for autonomous driving. The company it calls it the Apollo platform. It announced the project in April 2017, and it’s recently inked several deals aimed at making its Apollo dream come true in the shortest time possible.
The partnerships that Baidu recently inked with German (EWG) auto parts suppliers Continental and Bosch are part of its efforts to build its Apollo platform. Working with these partners, Baidu could become a one-stop shop for autonomous driving systems by supplying auto manufacturers with self-driving software and the hardware that goes along with it.
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Powering vehicles of the future
Baidu plans to start a limited deployment of its autonomous driving technology in the coming month. It will gradually scale this deployment up so that by 2020, vehicles equipped with its self-driving technology will start hitting highways and city roads.
According to Boston Consulting Group (or BCG), 30.0 million autonomous vehicles will be sold worldwide annually by 2035. Baidu wants to be behind the technology powering these vehicles. BCG expects sales of autonomous vehicles to reach $42.0 billion by 2025 and $77.0 billion by 2035.
Tackling the competition
To achieve this powerful autonomous driving technology, Baidu is also investing and partnering in areas such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, and augmented reality. Last year, the company set up a $200.0 million fund to invest in these technologies.