Published By : 01 Dec 2017 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Baidu, the artificial intelligence (AI) leader from China, has invested in a Beijing-based start-up that actively focuses on assistive driving technology, which is considered as a provisional step towards completely autonomous cars. The company, named as, Beijing Smarter Eyes Technology, has raised nearly US$15 mn (100 million Yuan) in the third funding round that took place this week, and was led by autonomous driving fund of Baidu. “This funding will support Smarter Eyes to mass manufacture advanced driver assistance systems that will assist in avoiding tracking, and aid in carrying out further research and development study on visual sensor systems and several other similar products deployed at vehicle front,” said Jiang An, Baidu’s co-founder and CEO.
The investment came amidst the commitment that Baidu made to invest in over one hundred autonomous driving projects in the next three years, as it gears up to compete with its rivals, such as Uber, Google, and JD.com, in terms of the production of AI-powered autonomous vehicles. Smarter Eye was founded in 2014 by 8 techies, who formerly worked for Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, and the Institute of Automation (IA) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The firm offers stereoscopic vision technology, which can be utilized in assistive as well as autonomous driving. It has signed up a number of contracts with several car manufacturers, such as BAIC Group, and bus manufacturers, such as King Long. Both these companies have entered into strategic agreement with Baidu, as per a source close to the company.