Baidu to Launch Self-Driving Food Delivery

In its push into autonomous driving industry, Baidu partnered with an on-demand services platform to deliver food.

Anna Vodopyanova
    Apr 19, 2018 2:38 PM  PT
Baidu to Launch Self-Driving Food Delivery
author: Anna Vodopyanova   

A year after the launch of its autonomous vehicle platform, Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), China's search engine giant, announced plans for driverless food delivery.

Similar to Google, Baidu has moved beyond its core business. The company launched various products powered by artificial intelligence (AI), aiming to make the world simpler through technology. Among the innovations was Apollo, its self-driving platform, launched last April.

Baidu's push into the autonomous vehicle industry led to its collaboration with more than 90 companies.

A partnership with Meituan-Dianping is among Baidu's latest announcements. Meituan is one of China's largest e-commerce platforms providing on-demand online services, including food delivery.

In partnering with Baidu, Meituan hopes to expand its mission: "We Help People Eat Better and Live Better" with self-driving food delivery in China's new economic area, Xiongan. The company said the cooperation would begin May 1, but road construction has yet to complete in the developing zone.

Xiongan New Area in Hebei Province is part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic triangle. The location, established in 2017, has been developing in anticipation that certain administrative functions, including government agencies, enterprises, and research and development facilities, would relocate from the overcrowded Chinese capital.

On the anniversary of its self-driving program, Baidu unveiled Apollo 2.5, its latest version of the platform. The new interface was said to include a geo-fenced, high-speed autonomous driving scenario, and reduced 90 percent of the sensor cost. Other additions were vision-based perception, real-time relative mapping, and high-speed planning and control.

Also announced was the launch of Apollo Automotive Cybersecurity Lab in Beijing for further research into driving safely with AI.

"Since the launch of Apollo, safety has been our core focus and is deeply rooted in the platform. We attach great importance to automotive functional safety and cybersecurity," said Zhenyu Li, Baidu's vice president. "As our research on intelligent driving technology deepens, we have an increased responsibility to ensure automotive cybersecurity. By creating this lab, we aim to set a new standard for research in cybersecurity for autonomous vehicles."

Baidu closed at $237.11 per American depositary share, down 60 cents in New York trading.