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Bosch to be involved in Baidu’s “Apollo” project as the two sign smart mobility agreement

BERLIN – Bosch will be involved in Baidu’s “Apollo” project, which aims to provide open, comprehensive, and reliable software for the development of automated vehicles, following the signing of a strategic cooperation framework agreement on joint development of smart mobility between the two companies on June 1.

Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, and Lu Qi, Group President, Vice Chairman of the board of directors and COO at Baidu, signed the agreement witnessed by visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Among other things, Bosch will contribute its sensors and the “Bosch Road Signature” for vehicle localization. Moreover, Bosch and Baidu will provide their technical expertise to support the drafting of legislation relating to automated driving in China.

The agreement comes less than two months after Bosch established partnerships with leading Chinese map providers, including Baidu, and AutoNvai and NavInfo to cooperate on HD maps for automated driving, and to jointly introduce the “Bosch Road Signature” as an accurate localization service in China. This service will combine high-definition maps with Bosch’s advanced camera and radar sensors to ensure the stable positioning and localization of automated cars even in adverse weather conditions.

“China is the biggest automotive market in the world, and also among the leading countries worldwide in the development of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI),” said Dr. Hoheisel. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to cooperate strategically with Baidu in this way. Combining the know-how of a high-tech internet corporation with our expertise as the world’s biggest automotive supplier, the alliance will promote the development of smart mobility in China.”

Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine and internet service provider, has built up expertise in many core technologies relating to automated driving, such as environmental perception, behavior prediction, trajectory planning, smart connectivity, HMI, accurate localization, and HD maps. Baidu has been involved in R&D related to automated driving technology since 2013.

“Developing autonomous driving and intelligent cars is a vast collaborative endeavor that requires tremendous efforts from all participants to advance the industry. AI technology is Baidu’s core competency, and Bosch is a leading technology and service provider. Through working together, the two companies will upgrade the intelligent systems of the automobile industry and create an entire new ecosystem for intelligent and autonomous driving cars,” said Lu.

Bosch has been working on the development of automated driving since 2011. In China, Bosch is working with many OEMs on driver assistance, braking, and steering systems. Following Germany, the U.S., and Japan, Bosch is now also testing automated driving in China. For partially automated driving on Chinese freeways, Bosch and Baidu have set up a test vehicle on the basis of a Jeep Cherokee. The test vehicle is equipped with numerous Bosch components including five mid-range radar sensors and a multi-purpose camera for environment recognition, as well as an ESP braking control system and electronic power steering.

In 2016, Bosch had sales of ¥66.3 billion in China with its mobility solutions, up 23.5 percent.

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