On January 18, 2024, Baidu (Google of China) and Huawei signed an ecological cooperation agreement focusing on navigation, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and Huawei’s smart cockpit technology. The signing ceremony was attended by Huawei division General Manager Jin Yongfu and Baidu Vice President Shang Guobin. This news is on the heels of Baidu’s recent collaboration with Geely in the upcoming Jiyue O2 model
The collaboration aims to improve the navigation and travel experience by extending Baidu Map’s features to Huawei’s smart cockpit. This includes comprehensive features such as full-scene voice interaction, lane-level navigation, instrument/Head-Up Display (HUD) navigation information display, personalized navigation voice packages, real-time parking navigation, and car-to-car connectivity.
Another notable feature of Baidu Maps, the traffic light countdown covering 3,000 counties nationwide and real-time parking navigation covering millions of parking lots, contribute to enhanced safety and efficiency in travel. The map services will gradually be integrated into vehicles equipped with Huawei’s smart cockpit, such as the Luxeed S7 or the Aito M9. Baidu also has significant experience in self-driving taxis with the Apollo project in Beijing, which will play a role in its collaboration as well.
In the context of China’s push towards intelligent connected vehicles, the collaboration between Huawei and Baidu addresses a longstanding challenge of integration between in-car systems and navigation. This partnership promises a more convenient and intelligent user experience, marking an advancement in the intelligent connected car industry.
While many automakers collaborate with one another, adopting Huawei and Baidu technologies, BYD relies on its own R&D team, as detailed in the Dream Day event that took place last week. It’s interesting to note that BYD even opted out of the agreement with Baidu on autonomous driving tech in August last year. What is becoming apparent is the auto industry in China will most likely see two competing blocks of automotive companies: the first using Huawei & Baidu solutions and the second clinging to BYD’s tech.
While competitors, including Alibaba’s Amap, remain active in the high-precision map competition, Baidu’s headstart in the business gives it an advantage in data accumulation and algorithm optimization, which has positioned it as a frontrunner. The collaboration between Huawei and Baidu shows their shared commitment to trying to keep up with the evolving trends in navigation and intelligent transportation. As the industry continues to evolve, this partnership is set to play a significant role in shaping the future of smart transportation ecosystems.