Baidu to roll out AI lab, smart transportation in Xiongan

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Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc inked a strategic partnership with the government of Xiongan New Area on Wednesday, pledging to establish the country's artificial intelligence laboratory and build a city featuring smart transportation in line with its ambition to develop self-driving vehicles.

The tech giant said it will carry out cooperation with the local authority to develop the new economic zone into a smart city by virtue of its cloud computing, conversational AI system DuerOS, and to improve the public transportation efficiency with its Apollo project.

The smart city will incorporate a variety of fields such as transportation, education, security, healthcare, environment protection and payment.

Baidu also tested its self-driving vehicles in Xiongan New Area. Two days ago, Beijing released a guideline for road tests of self-driving cars, which shows the authorities' support for technological innovation through systematic innovation.

The company also plans to cooperate with the authorities from Baoding, Wuhu, Chongqing and Shanghai to build smart cities with its AI-powered technologies.

Last month, Baidu’s Chairman and CEO Robin Li said the company’s annual conference that Baidu’s autonomous driving open platform Apollo will work with Xiong'an New Area in intelligent transportation to develop the area into a smart city.

Tencent Holdings Ltd also signed strategic cooperation agreement with the government of Xiongan in November, to set up a financial technology lab and digitize public medical services.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced in September that it will set up three subsidiaries in Xiongan with a total registered capital of 160 million yuan ($24 million). It will cooperate with the local government mainly in artificial intelligence, fintech and intelligent logistics.

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