Wed, Mar 11, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Baidu eyes autonomous car this year: Robin Li

Bloomberg

Baidu Inc (百度) might introduce an autonomous car this year, as the owner of China’s largest Internet search engine joins companies from Google Inc to Apple Inc in developing connected vehicles.

Baidu has been researching the smart car and is working with auto manufacturers, chief executive Robin Li (李彥宏) said yesterday in Beijing, where he is attending meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei (苗圩) last week said that he would encourage firms outside the traditional auto industry to tie up with existing manufacturers to spur innovation and competition.

“Marrying traditional and the cutting edge can speed up the evolution of the auto industry,” CSC International Holdings (群益國際控股) analyst Han Weiqi (韓偉琪) said in Shanghai. “IT companies have an edge in areas like big data, cloud technology and Internet of Things, where traditional automakers are weak.”

Among other Chinese companies, Leshi Internet Information and Technology (Beijing) Co (樂視網信息技術北京有限公司), a maker of Web-enabled TVs, has said it would invest billions of dollars into developing a connected electric car.

Li also said Baidu would debut lending applications “very soon.”

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