Continental partners with Baidu on connected cars

Continental partners with Baidu on connected cars

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German car parts supplier Continental and Chinese internet giant Baidu will collaborate on technology for self-driving and connected cars, the two firms said Wednesday.

"Both partners intend to develop technologies, products and business models... for automated driving, connected vehicles and intelligent mobility services," the company said in a statement, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was due to arrive in the German capital later Wednesday.

Continental is one of the world's largest auto parts suppliers, while Baidu -- known as the "Chinese Google" -- boasts technologies running the gamut from search to social networking and artificial intelligence (AI).

The two groups plan to put their heads together on sensors and software, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and connected cars, as well as collecting and analysing data from road tests of automated cars.

"With our strategic collaboration, we will take intelligent mobility an important step further," Continental chief executive Elmar Degenhart said in the statement.

Both technology firms and traditional carmakers are scrambling to develop automated cars, a feat requiring both software expertise and the sensors and other hardware used by the computer to gather information about the environment.

Baidu tested its first automated car prototype in Beijing in 2015, and recently launched an open platform known as Apollo where it will share its results with carmakers.

Continental is not the first German firm to join forces with another in the push for self-driving cars, after rival Bosch linked up with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler in April.

Hanover-based Continental also announced a partnership with Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO, beginning with suspension systems and tyres but with plans to collaborate on electric and automated driving.

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