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London Tech Week

JIDU: Baidu’s electric car arm steers $400M to launch Robocar with emotional intelligence

Image credits: Baidu

Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in electric vehicles. As a result, the market share has taken a tremendous leap forward and is expected to accelerate exponentially. 

According to Allied Market Research, the global electric vehicle market was valued at $162.34B in 2019 and is projected to reach $802.81B by 2027, registering a CAGR of 22.6%. 

Global automakers are planning to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries through 2030, reports Reuter. 

Raised $400M

In this regard, Baidu’s intelligent Electric Vehicle (EV) arm JIDU, announced that it has closed Series A financing, raising $400M from Baidu and its strategic partner multinational auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. 

How will the funding be used?

The funding will enable JIDU to accelerate the progress in R&D and achieve mass production. JIDU, in particular, plans to expand its R&D team with a focus on talent acquisition, especially in fields including advanced autonomous driving, smart cockpit, and smart manufacturing.

The company plans to introduce its first Robocar concept car at the Beijing Auto Show in April this year, with a mass-production set for 2023.

Xia continued, “I would like to express my special thanks to the entire team who accompanied this project from the scratch. Moving on, we will continue to focus on product development and build our business network to quickly move forward. Our goal, as always, is to provide users with more revolutionary products that exceed expectations.”

Entry into automotive industry

Last year, Baidu, an AI company, announced its plan to enter the automotive industry. A couple of months later, JIDU came into existence with Yiping Xia as CEO with a startup capital of $300M.

At present, JIDU is known for its innovative product development process and the speed at which it has developed its first model. 

The company is working on Robocar that combines intelligence and emotion, leading to a profound change in transportation.

By 2023, JIDU aims to present to the world a Robocar with outstanding user experience and cost-effectiveness, setting an industry benchmark for smart cars, claims the company in the press release. 

Yiping Xia, CEO of JIDU says, “With the support of cutting-edge AI technology combined with a high-quality vehicle platform and manufacturing process, JIDU’s efficient development of automotive robot has been proven – the brain, nerve system, and body of the Robocar are all under rapid development.”

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