Baidu’s electric vehicle (EV) business unit, Jidu Auto, has raised nearly $400 million from Baidu and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in a new funding round. No external investors participated in the round.
According Reuters (26/1), Jidu, an EV venture between Baidu and Geely, said in a statement that it would ship a mass-produced “robot” car by 2023.
In April, Jidu CEO Xia Yiping said that the company would raise a total of 50 billion yuan ($7.90 billion) to develop and manufacture smart car “robots” over the next five years and that financing would come from Baidu and other investors.
For your information, Jidu, which was launched a year ago, is Baidu’s latest attempt to harness its artificial intelligence expertise for car manufacturing. Baidu also operates autonomous propulsion units under the umbrella of a group called Apollo.
Meanwhile, tech companies around the world from Sony to Xiaomi Corp are also trying their luck by making smart cars to follow Tesla Inc’s success in commercializing EVs.