Microsoft’s Azure to power Baidu self driving car project in new partnership

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Over the past few months, several car manufacturers such as BMW, Toyota, Renault-Nissan and Volvo have partnered with Microsoft to leverage the company’s cloud technology for their connected vehicle solutions. Today, the Redmond giant is announcing a new partnership with Chinese technology giant Baidu, which launched the Apollo open autonomous driving project earlier this year.

If Baidu has already snagged more than 50 different partners including TomTom, Continental and Asian transportation app Grab for its autonomous driving platform, Microsoft will now be able to provide its Azure cloud technology to Apollo partners operating outside of China. “By using Azure, our partners outside of China will have access to a trustworthy and secure public cloud, enabling them to focus on innovating instead of building their own cloud-based infrastructure,” said president of Baidu Ya-Qin Zhang in statement.

“We’re excited to partner with Baidu to take a giant step in helping automotive manufacturers and suppliers fully realize the promise of autonomous driving,” shared Microsoft Corporate Vice President Kevin Dallas. “Today’s vehicles already have an impressive level of sophistication when it comes to their ability to capture data. By applying our global cloud AI, machine learning, and deep neural network capabilities to that data, we can accelerate the work already being done to make autonomous vehicles safer,” he added.