Baidu, the Chinese search giant is planning to branch into transportation by making electric vehicles in collaboration with the country’s largest automaker company Geely. The company has already spent years working on self-driving technology.
Through this partnership, Baidu is likely to develop software for the vehicle while Geely takes responsibility for the hardware development. Moreover, the companies will most probably be relying on Geely’s electric vehicle manufacturing platform that it had announced last year. It is reported that Baidu will own a majority stake in the new company and will control its direction.
This initiative is something that other Chinese giant companies have previously taken as well, such as Alibaba and Didi Chuxing. Alibaba funded XPeng, an electric vehicle startup that got famous for copying Tesla’s designs. Alibaba also formed an electric vehicle joint venture with SAIC, China’s biggest car-making company. Didi Chuxing on the other hand, has been working with Chinese automotive giant BYD on developing electric ride-hailing vehicles.
Geely is already a powerful company on its own, as it owns Volvo and also has a partnership with Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes Benz. It has experimented with a variety of products, such as passenger drones, a high-speed rail, and even a newly proposed satellite network.