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Baidu & Geely Collaborate on Autonomous Driving Platform

Zacks Equity Research

Baidu, Inc. BIDU is leaving no stone unturned to bolster presence in the autonomous driving space.

The ever-growing Chinese internet company has ramped up efforts in the self-driving vehicle space by teaming up with China-based automaker Geely. With the help of Geely, Baidu aims at strengthening presence in areas of automated driving, connected cars and smart mobility.

Under the partnership, Geely cars will come equipped with the GKUI19 connected vehicle solution, which will be powered by Baidu's DuerOS for Apollo.

The latest deal is inline with the company’s strategy to accelerate the use of smart vehicles in China and shape the future of smart mobility globally.

Baidu's Continuous Efforts in This Space

In the past few years, Baidu has made considerable progress in the self-driving space.Its major self-driving project called Apollo focuses on utilizing the Chinese tech heavyweight’s strengths in artificial intelligence to build a collaborative driverless car ecosystem.

Baidu recently revealed that its fleet of autonomous vehicles covered a distance of 2 million kilometer in urban road environments. In addition, the company has taken 438 new autonomous driving patents, thereby expanding its share in the self-driving space.

Moreover, Baidu has received permission for five autonomous driving tests from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, which is a big milestone for the company. This gives Baidu the permission to test vehicles in real life traffic conditions.

These developments are likely to aid the company in rapidly penetrating the self-driving market, wherein safety and the prevention of accidents are most important.

Baidu, Inc. Price and Consensus

 

Baidu, Inc. Price and Consensus

Baidu, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Baidu, Inc. Quote

Partnerships a Trend

The self-driving/autonomous car conversation is in full swing, with a large number of players — right from tech behemoths to automakers to firms that manufacture components — racing for an edge.

As they do so, they realize that the path is not without its share of potholes. Thus, a number of them are opting for partnerships, which help combine competencies of technology companies and traditional auto suppliers.

As of now, Baidu’s Apollo has a robust ecosystem of 156 partners that include leading carmakers like Geely, Chery, Great Wall and Ford, among others. There are more than 60 auto brands that are powered by Baidu’s capabilities in connected vehicles and 300 vehicle models in the market.

Recently, Baidu joined hands with 10 other global auto majors to publish a white paper on autonomous vehicle safety.

These initiatives will help the company to take a bigger splash in the self-driving space and turn Apollo into a global initiative. Moreover, these partnerships will surely speed up its efforts in this space.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Baidu currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Match Group, Inc. MTCH, LivePerson, Inc. LPSN and Dropbox, Inc. DBX. While Match Group sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both LivePerson and Dropbox carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Match Group, LivePersonand Dropbox is currently projected at 15.2%, 25% and 14.2%, respectively.

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