Chinese Internet giant Baidu and Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur, an online car rental company, have entered a strategic partnership to speed up the development of driverless vehicles.
Baidu will provide Shouqi with its Baidu Map service, while Shouqi will help Baidu develop high-precision maps for self-driving cars.
Baidu will also offer software and hardware solutions such as the "DuerOS" and "Apollo platform" to Shouqi to help it develop autonomous vehicles.
"DuerOS is an AI platform that provides tools for developers looking to quickly build intelligent devices that anyone can interact with, primarily through voice and natural language conversation," according to Lu Qi, Baidu chief operating officer.
"The Apollo platform provides a software and hardware solution to specific partners and will help their vehicles navigate the roads using AI technology," Lu said. "In the future, customers will enjoy a smart travel experience brought by the self-driving cars."
The development of the self-driving car technology will make use of road resources, help ease traffic congestion and reduce traffic accidents, according to Wei Dong, CEO of Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur.
Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur is a subsidiary of the state-owned Shouqi group and begun operation in 2015. It has more than 66,000 vehicles in 52 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.