CHINA'S TOP INTERNET SEARCH PROVIDER TO PRODUCE EV
China's leading internet search provider Baidu Inc. has decided to establish a new company to produce an electric vehicle, apparently becoming a major rival of U.S. tech giant Apple Inc., local media reported.
Kyodo News said that Baidu planned to build a strategic alliance with Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to develop a "smart EV" utilizing internet and artificial intelligence technologies.
The new EV is likely to be equipped with state-of-the-art automated cruising capabilities, industrial sources said. Baidu has not elaborated on when the vehicle will make its debut in the market.
So far, Baidu has provided an open software platform for autonomous vehicles for car manufacturers, such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., in a bid to accelerate its development of self-driving technologies.
In China's Changsha, Hunan Province, Baidu has launched a self-driving tax service.
China has been eager to phase out new sales of gas-powered cars and bring eco-friendly ones to the mainstream by 2035, while President Xi Jinping has pledged to make the country carbon neutral by 2060.
Apple, meanwhile, has been reportedly aiming to start production on its own EV as early as 2024.
WEEKLY FEATURE : JOSE MARI CHAN AND THE CHRISTMAS ANTHEM