BlackBerry Signs Autonomous Driving Pact with Baidu

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Jan. 9, 2018—BlackBerry has signed a pact with Chinese internet company Baidu, forming a partnership to develop self-driving vehicle technology, Forbes has reported.

Investors appeared to take notice, too, judging by the fact BlackBerry’s stock rose by about 13 percent recently, following the deal with Baidu. BlackBerry’s alliance with Baidu could give the company increased traction in China, which is the world’s largest automotive market.

Baidu’s approach to autonomous vehicles is focused largely on scale, and the company is leveraging its strengths in both the digital world and in artificial intelligence to create an open-source autonomous driving platform called Apollo; the platform has been described as the Android of the automotive industry. Apollo already has deals lined up with manufacturers such as Ford and Hyundai.

As far as BlackBerry’s automotive ambitions go, Forbes indicates that the company has been seeking early market share gains by forging deals with the biggest automotive industry chip suppliers, as well as partnerships with top auto suppliers such as DENSO, Bosch, and Magna.

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