September 28, 2021

Baidu launches robocar and AI chip in bid to diversify business

Robin Li (R), CEO of Baidu, sits in the Chinese tech giant’s new prototype “robocar”,...

Robin Li (R), CEO of Baidu, sits in the Chinese tech giant’s new prototype “robocar”, an autonomous vehicle, at the company’s annual Baidu World conference on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Baidu

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese internet giant Baidu unveiled its second-generation artificial intelligence chip, its first “robocar” and a rebranded driverless taxi app, underscoring how these new areas of technology are key to the company’s future growth.

The Beijing-headquartered firm, known as China’s biggest search engine player, has focused on diversifying its business beyond advertising in the face of rising competition and a difficult advertising market in the last few years.

Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, has tried to convince investors the company’s future lies in AI and related areas such as autonomous driving.

On Wednesday, at its annual Baidu World conference, the company launched Kunlun 2, its second-generation AI chip. The semiconductor is designed to help devices process huge amounts of data and boost computing power. Baidu says the chip can be used in areas such as autonomous driving and that it has entered mass production.

Baidu’s first-generation Kunlun chip was launched in 2018. Earlier this year, Baidu raised money for its chip unit valuing it at $2 billion.

Robocar

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