Published on July 29th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Daimler and Baidu sign a Memorandum of Understanding for Apollo autonomous driving platform

Daimler and Baidu signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand partner-ship through the Apollo autonomous driving platform and to integrate Baidu’s vehicle connectivity services into Mercedes-Benz infotainment system MBUX.

Earlier this July, Daimler became the first international automaker to receive a road test license for highly automated driving research vehicles (level 4) in Beijing, marking a major new milestone in the company’s local research and development efforts in China. The test vehicles are based on the versatile Mercedes-Benz V-Class with its advantages in flexibility and loading capacities.

The Mercedes-Benz research vehicles are equipped with additional technical applications from Baidu Apollo. As of now, these vehicles have undertaken extensive testing at the National Pilot Zone (Beijing and Hebei) for Intelligent Mobility to qualify for the license. According to the newly signed MoU, both companies will extend use cases and enrich scenario complexity both on approved public roads and dedicated proving grounds, with safety as their primary concern. Under the terms of the agreement, the two sides also intend to launch a new joint project in vehicle connectivity, integrating further Baidu connectivity services into Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the intelligent infotainment system.

Given the increasing pace of digitalization, Daimler has continuously built strong local partnerships including those with Chinese tech giants in research and development. The company has actively expanded its cooperation with Baidu to provide further “ Inspired by China, Innovated for China” products and services of the Mercedes-Benz brand for its local customers. Daimler began its partnership with Baidu in 2013, with initial cooperation to develop point of interest (POI) and destination searches.

In 2014, Mercedes-Benz was the first premium automobile manufacturer to bring Baidu’s panoramic maps, Baidu Quanjing, to its products, and in 2016 introduced Baidu CarLife, the vehicle-smartphone integration solution, for Mercedes-Benz models sold in China. After joining Baidu’s Apollo platform in July 2017, Daimler became one of the ten founding members of the Apollo Committee, a body of partner companies in tech and automotive, which serves to discuss the development of urban automated driving and management, as well as to promote the drafting of related laws and regulations.

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