Microsoft and Baidu partner on autonomous driving

Microsoft and Baidu have announced plans for a partnership that will see Microsoft’s Azure cloud used to boost the global scale of Baidu’s autonomous vehicle platform, Apollo, outside China.

The two companies said that they plan to explore opportunities to “digitally transform” the autonomous driving industry through connected vehicle solutions and unique customer experiences.

“We’re excited to partner with Baidu to take a giant step in helping automotive manufacturers and suppliers fully realize the promise of autonomous driving,” said Kevin Dallas, corporate vice president, Microsoft.

“Today’s vehicles already have an impressive level of sophistication when it comes to their ability to capture data. By applying our global cloud AI, machine learning, and deep neural network capabilities to that data, we can accelerate the work already being done to make autonomous vehicles safer.”

Baidu president Ya-Qin Zhang said: “We are excited to have Microsoft as part of the Apollo alliance. Our goal with Apollo is to provide an open and powerful platform to the automotive industry to further the goal of autonomous vehicles.”

Earlier this month, Baidu and NVIDIA announced an artificial intelligence partnership that will see them work together on Baidu’s self-driving car initiative.