Beijing, 13th March: Baidu, the leading search engine in China, announced that it will merge its mapping unit, Baidu Maps, with its artificial intelligence (AI) division, AI Technology Platform System. The move is part of Baidu’s overall strategic focus on expanding its business beyond its traditional search and advertising revenue streams.
The restructuring also aims to improve the popular mapping service by consolidating and coordinating resources with its AI technology. Baidu’s management stated that it plans to develop high definition-maps, a technology used in autonomous driving.
Baidu has relied on AI to support its main search engine activities since January 2017, when the company appointed former executive of Microsoft to become the CEO of the division. Baidu’s AI Technology Platform System was launched last year. A key focus of Baidu’s AI division is the development of Apollo, its autonomous driving platform.
Source: Caixin article