Baidu Selects ON Semiconductor Image Sensors For Its Apollo Autonomous Driving Platform

BlackBerry and Baidu team up on Apollo driverless cars

Chinese search-engine giant Baidu Inc. has selected BlackBerry Ltd.to provide the safety operating system for the Apollo autonomous driving system, which is being developed in co-operation with several vehicle makers. Baidu CarLife, its integration software for connected cars which is primarily used in China, along with its DuerOS conversational AI and high-definition maps will be ported to the QNX Car (Infotainment) Platform.

BlackBerry shares rose per cent in Toronto to C$16.95, their highest one-day gain since April. Its efforts have, so far, paid off, with American company Autonomoustuff managing to use Apollo 1.0 to add autonomous capabilities to a vehicle in just three days, capabilities which proved sufficient to allow the auto drive itself around a track repeatedly. A 2016 survey of automotive customers by Pwc in mainland China and Hong Kong found that "Chinese consumers place more emphasis on in-car technology than on price or engine performance when it comes to buying a vehicle, and 40% are willing to change brands for better connectivity".

QNX will be the operating system for "Apollo", a platform for self-driving vehicles that Baidu announced in April previous year.

Li Zhenyu, general manager of Baidu " s Intelligent Driving Group, said the two companies are looking to provide a "clear and fast path" to production, emphasizing safety and security as top priorities.

Baidu Selects ON Semiconductor Image Sensors For Its Apollo Autonomous Driving Platform

Baidu's president, Ya-Qin Zhang, will be speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show on a panel about self-driving vehicles.

He added that the integration of QNX with its automotive "Apollo" platform "will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems". "Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning". The deal follows similar agreements with companies such as Qualcomm, Denso and Aptiv to develop technology for autonomous driving with the software BlackBerry QNX. For Baidu, it also means picking up a platform foundation for its open self-driving software project that has all the necessary vehicle industry safety certifications, and a proven track record. In the deal with BlackBerry, third-party software and hardware can bring products to market.

Baidu says it has more than 70 partners in its Apollo program, including vehicle assembly companies, Tier 1 parts suppliers and technology startups.

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