Daimler and Baidu to enhance strategic cooperation in automated driving and vehicle connectivity
Daimler and Baidu recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance their Sino-German cooperation in automated driving and intelligent connected vehicles. The two companies agreed to deepen their partnership through joint automated driving and connectivity projects, including furthering their collaboration through Baidu’s Apollo open platform. Both companies will also work to explore new fields in vehicle connectivity services.
Apollo is designed to provide an all-in-one solution that supports major features and functions of an automated vehicle. In December 2017, Daimler became a member of the Apollo Committee, which pursues the goals of accelerating research on safer solutions in automated driving in China and promoting the drafting of related laws and regulations.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, “With the changes facing the industry today, we have worked consistently to implement our C.A.S.E. strategy for innovation both globally and at a local level in China. In particular, automated driving and connectivity are progressing at an unprecedented rate in China, and our continued success depends not only on staying ahead of these trends but on leading them. Daimler and Baidu already enjoy a strong partnership in these two fields, and the signing of this memorandum marks a new milestone in the cooperation between our two companies.”
Robin Li, Chairman and CEO, Baidu, said, “In the era of artificial intelligence and big data, the automotive industry will evolve according to a drastically different logic—from vertical integration to a platform-based ecosystem—making now the optimal time for global automakers and tech companies to work together and deepen cooperation in building an intelligent ecosystem. It is my hope that this strengthened partnership between Baidu and Daimler will lead to more cross-industry collaboration and push forward the global automated driving industry.”
Earlier this July, Daimler became the first international automaker to receive a road test license for highly automated driving research vehicles (Level 4) in Beijing. The test vehicles are based on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. The Mercedes-Benz research vehicles are equipped with additional technical applications from Baidu Apollo. As of now, these vehicles have undertaken testing at the National Pilot Zone (Beijing and Hebei) for Intelligent Mobility to qualify for the license.
According to the newly signed MoU, both companies will extend use cases and add scenario complexity both on approved public roads and dedicated proving grounds. Under the terms of the agreement, the two sides also intend to launch a new joint project in vehicle connectivity, integrating further Baidu connectivity services into Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the company's intelligent infotainment system.