Ford Motor (China) and Baidu have agreed to explore strategic collaborations to enrich the consumer experience and build a sustainable mobility ecosystem in China.
The companies will jointly explore cooperation across a variety of domains including connectivity and digital services, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.
An LoI between both the companies was signed at Baidu’s headquarters in Beijing, under which the two companies will work together to collaborate on new in-vehicle infotainment systems and digital services based on Baidu’s DuerOS conversational AI platform, with features such as voice recognition, natural language understanding and image recognition in order to deliver a simple and personalized user experience for Ford vehicle owners in China.
Leveraging AI technology and a vast ecosystem of information and services, the DuerOS system enables vehicle owners to command and communicate with their vehicles using natural language and easily access information and services that they need in daily life.
Ford and Baidu are also looking to establish a joint connectivity lab to investigate innovation opportunities across their automotive and mobility businesses in China. The two companies will also explore opportunities in cloud computing, such as integration with Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), the open cloud-based platform being developed by Autonomic, a subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility, that provides transportation services such as vehicle connectivity for multiple players in the transportation ecosystem.
In addition, Ford and Baidu will leverage both parties’ areas of expertise to investigate technologies and big data to explore business opportunities related to targeted digital marketing. This would enable Ford to more precisely understand Chinese consumer behaviors and preferences and develop offerings to meet their needs.
This new LOI further builds on the existing partnership between the two companies. In July last year, Ford joined Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform as a founding member. The expanded relationship includes more areas of collaboration and lays the foundation for future growth and innovation for both companies.