This week, online search company Baidu and technology firm NVIDIA announced an artificial intelligence (AI) partnership that will see them work together on Baidu’s self-driving car initiative.
The search firm has already been collaborating with NVIDIA, using the chipmaker’s DRIVE PX 2 computer for its open autonomous vehicle platform, Apollo. Baidu recently demonstrated a self-driving car at CES Asia powered by NVIDIA’s technology.
As part of the Apollo alliance, Baidu will also develop self-driving cars with a number of Chinese carmakers, including Changan, Chery Automobile, FAW and Greatwall Motor.
The plans were announced by Baidu president and COO Qi Lu at the company’s AI developer conference in Beijing.
“Today, we are very excited to announce a comprehensive and deep partnership with NVIDIA,” said Lu.
“Baidu and NVIDIA will work together on our Apollo self-driving car platform, using NVIDIA's automotive technology.“
Ian Buck, NVIDIA vice president and general manager of accelerated computing, said: “NVIDIA and Baidu have pioneered significant advances in deep learning and AI.
Could hands-off demo cause trouble for Baidu?
Following the conference, Baidu’s CEO Robin Li is reportedly being investigated by Chinese police after he made a video call to the event while travelling in a driverless car in Beijing.
Mr Li reportedly told his audience that the vehicle was on autopilot at the time, according to the BBC, which pointed out that autonomous vehicles are currently banned from public roads in China.
“We believe AI is the most powerful technology force of our time, with the potential to revolutionize every industry.
“Our collaboration aligns our exceptional technical resources to create AI computing platforms for all developers -- from academic research, startups creating breakthrough AI applications, and autonomous vehicles.”
Last week, it was also announced that NVIDIA is working with Volvo and Autoliv to develop advanced systems and software for self-driving cars.