Microsoft and Baidu partner to spread autonomous car tech outside of China
Microsoft has announced an extension of its partnership with Chinese tech firm Baidu to help scale its autonomous car platform outside of China. The ultimate goal, Microsoft says, is to position Baidu's open autonomous car platform, dubbed Apollo, to take advantage of a portion of the market that it expects to make up 15 percent of new cars sold by 2030.
Announced by Baidu in April, Apollo is an open platform that aims to tackle all of the main features needed by autonomous cars through a combination of cloud services, reference hardware, vehicle platforms, and a software stack. In addition to Microsoft, the Apollo alliances currently counts 50 partners among its ranks, including the likes of TomTom, Bosch, and more.
Outside of Baidu, Microsoft has been making strides in the car space with its own software in recent years. Most recently, Microsoft and BMW announced a partnership that will bring Skype for Business to BMW's 5 series cars. Likewise, Volvo and BMW have also expressed interest in bringing Cortana to their vehicles, while Mercedes-Benz even recently leaned on Microsoft services to create an "in-car office."
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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl.