Baidu’s Apollo to power Walmart’s autonomous delivery fleet
Udelv, a California-based developer of self-driving vehicles, is working with Walmart on a pilot program involving the delivery of fresh groceries to customers using self-driving vans. The fleet of vans that Udelv will use for the Walmart delivery pilot is based on Baidu’s open-source autonomous driving platform known as Apollo.
Exporting self-driving buses to Japan
Baidu created Apollo to help speed up its development of self-driving vehicles. Baidu itself developed a self-driving shuttle bus called Apolong, which it hopes to start exporting to Japan in partnership with SoftBank (SFTBY) this year, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review. Alibaba (BABA) and Tencent (TCEHY) are other Chinese technology companies that are developing self-driving vehicles as they seek to create new revenue sources.
In addition to Udelv, Walmart is working with Ford Motor Company (F) on a pilot program that involves the use of self-driving vehicles to deliver packages to customers. Ford is one of Baidu’s self-driving associates, suggesting that its partnership with Walmart could unlock more business opportunities for Baidu with the American retailer.
Baidu’s revenue jumped 27%
Baidu currently relies on advertising for the majority of its revenue. Baidu’s revenue rose 27% YoY (year-over-year) to $4.1 billion in the third quarter of 2018. Yandex (YNDX), Facebook (FB), and Alphabet (GOOGL), three other mostly ad-funded companies, grew their revenues 39%, 33%, and 21% YoY, respectively, in the quarter.