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Ford Media Center
Beijing, China, June 27, 2018 – Ford Motor (China) Ltd. and Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) today agreed to explore strategic collaborations to enrich the consumer experience and build a sustainable mobility ecosystem in China.
Ford China and Baidu will jointly explore cooperation across a variety of domains including connectivity and digital services, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.
Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of Ford Asia Pacific and Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu, met today at Baidu’s headquarters in Beijing and witnessed the signing of the LOI between the two companies. Robert Hou, director of mobility platforms and products, Ford Asia Pacific and Tan Su, general manager of Baidu’s internet of vehicles division, signed the strategic cooperation agreement on behalf of the two companies.
“Collaborating with leading technology companies such as Baidu supports our vision to become the world’s most trusted mobility company by leveraging new opportunities to build a sustainable mobility ecosystem. As part of our ‘In China, For China’ strategy, we look forward to working closely to offer smart products and solutions that can make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Peter Fleet.
The two companies will work together to collaborate on new in-vehicle infotainment systems and digital services based on Baidu’s DuerOS conversational AI platform, with features such as voice recognition, natural language understanding and image recognition in order to deliver a simple and personalized user experience for Ford vehicle owners in China.
Leveraging AI technology and a vast ecosystem of information and services, the DuerOS system enables vehicle owners to command and communicate with their vehicles using natural language and easily access information and services that they need in daily life.
Ford and Baidu are looking to establish a joint connectivity lab to investigate innovation opportunities across their automotive and mobility businesses in China. Both companies are dedicated to developing new cloud-based AI solutions to enrich the user experience in-vehicle and through other customer touchpoints.
The two companies will also explore opportunities in cloud computing, such as integration with Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), the open cloud-based platform being developed by Autonomic, a subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility, that provides transportation services such as vehicle connectivity for multiple players in the transportation ecosystem.
In addition, Ford and Baidu will leverage both parties’ areas of expertise to investigate technologies and big data to explore business opportunities related to targeted digital marketing. This would enable Ford to more precisely understand Chinese consumer behaviors and preferences and develop offerings to meet their needs.
"Baidu and Ford share the vision of using technology to build the future of driving," said Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu. “Together, with Baidu's leading-edge AI technology and Ford's advanced engineering expertise, we will transform the mobility ecosystem and create the next-generation in-vehicle experience for consumers."
This new LOI further builds on the existing partnership between the two companies. In July last year, Ford joined Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform as a founding member. The expanded relationship includes more areas of collaboration and lays the foundation for future growth and innovation for both companies.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.