ZF and Baidu announce strategic cooperation
ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Chinese internet company Baidu announced a new strategic cooperation. The two companies intend to collaborate in the areas of autonomous driving and telematics as well as mobility services to develop technical solutions for autonomous driving in China.
“With Baidu, we have a partner onboard that has outstanding expertise with artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud-based service solutions,” said ZF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stefan Sommer. “This information is fundamental for the technologies needed for autonomous driving. With our vehicle control system ZF ProAI, we can merge this information with other data from car-to-X communication and offer our customers autonomous driving solutions as a one-stop supplier.”
ZF and Baidu intend to bring their specific backgrounds to the new technology alliance and promote knowledge sharing of technologies. According to company officials, new business models for the Chinese market are expected to emerge based on the established market position of both companies.
Robin Wu, Vice President of Baidu, added, “The popularity of autonomous driving is now facing the problems such as reformation of industrial structure and technology innovation, etc. Therefore the cooperation is the key to accelerate the actual utilization of autonomous driving and business commercialization.”
Since 2013, Baidu has invested increasingly in research and development for autonomous vehicle systems. In April of this year, the company launched “Project Apollo,” which is an open, completed, and secured platform to help automotive and autonomous driving partners to accelerate building their own exclusive autonomous driving system based on vehicle and hardware systems.