Chinese tech giant Baidu partners Geely, Toyota in self-driving push

A man using a laptop computer walks past an illuminated sign for Baidu Inc. at the Baidu Technology Park in Beijing, China, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

China’s top search engine operator Baidu Inc has joined hands with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp to cooperate on areas related to artificial intelligence (AI) amid a push for self-driving cars.

Under their partnership, Geely and Toyota have joined Apollo, an autonomous driving platform by Baidu.

Baidu will provide Apollo Minibus, a software product for autonomous bus vehicles, to Toyota’s e-Palette vehicles in the future, and will work with the automaker to explore more uses of autonomous driving technologies, said Li Zhenyu, vice president of Baidu who is in charge of its intelligent driving unit.

With Geely, Baidu will cooperate in AI applications such as intelligent connectivity and smart mobility, Baidu CEO Robin Li and Geely Chairman Li Shufu said at Baidu Create 2019, a yearly gathering where the company shows its advances in AI.

Global automakers, large technology companies and startups are all engaged in self-driving efforts, but experts say it will be years before systems are ready to be rolled out.

China, the world’s largest auto market, is at the forefront of this push for automation and is keen to have its own players to compete with global leaders such as Tesla and Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google parent Alphabet.

Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have previously announced local guidelines for self-driving tests.

Baidu already has approval to test self-driving vehicles on some city streets.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.