Image: Ford
[L-R]: Ya-Qin Zhang, president, Baidu; Tan Su, general manager, Baidu, internet of vehicles; Robert Hou, director of mobility platforms and products, Ford Asia Pacific; Peter Fleet, Ford group VP and president, Ford Asia Pacific
Ford China and Baidu have signed an agreement to work together to enrich the consumer experience and develop a sustainable mobility ecosystem in China. The strategic collaboration will look at topics including artificial intelligence, digital services and digital marketing.

Baidu’s DuerOS ‘conversational’ AI platform will form the basis of Ford China’s next-generation infotainment systems and digital services. This features voice recognition, natural language understanding and image recognition, and is claimed to enable easy access to information and services in a simple, personalized user experience.

New cloud-based AI solutions will also be developed, both for in-car applications and other customer touchpoints, and the collaboration will look at possible integration with the open Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) platform from Ford Smart Mobility. It will further explore the use of big data, including for use in marketing and the understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences in China. A joint lab will be established.

Peter Fleet, Ford group VP and president of Ford Asia Pacific, said in a statement: “As part of our ‘In China, For China’ strategy, we look forward to working very closely to offer smart products and solutions that can make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable.”

Baidu president Ya-Qin Zhang added: “Baidu and Ford share the vision of using technology to build the future of driving. Together, with Baidu’s leading-edge AI technology and Ford’s advanced engineering expertise, we will transform the mobility ecosystem and create the next-generation in-vehicle experience for consumers.”

-Farah Alkhalisi