Baidu & Asia Mobility Industries announce strategic joint venture to launch  “Apollo Southeast Asia” Autonomous Driving Program and Investment Fund

Sunnyvale, California, UNITED STATES

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Singapore technology conglomerate Asia Mobility Industries (AMI) have announced today the establishment of "Apollo Southeast Asia", a Singapore-based joint venture focused on supporting advanced mobility projects through direct investment, technology exchange, establishment of research programs, and the commercialization of Baidu's autonomous driving technologies in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region.

Baidu and AMI will also launch a USD200 million technology fund focused on strategic opportunities in the SEA region across the full spectrum of autonomous driving and intelligent transportation. Leveraging existing resources in the ASEAN region, the fund aims to upgrade existing transportation infrastructure and further smart mobility research and development regionally. Through the fund, Apollo Southeast Asia aims to attract strategic partners in participating and supporting Apollo, Baidu’s open autonomous driving platform regionally.

“Singapore is taking an integrated approach across the government, to enable the adoption of autonomous vehicles and to build capabilities within this space. The establishment of Apollo SEA will accelerate the advancement of autonomous vehicle technologies in Singapore and drive the ideation of new solutions to serve the region’s growing mobility needs. We welcome like-minded companies to be part of our growing mobility ecosystem to develop, test and commercialize smart mobility solutions for the global market,” says Mr Tan Kong Hwee, Executive Director, Transport Engineering, Singapore Economic Development Board.

As the first overseas destination for Apollo, Singapore serves as a gateway to ASEAN, a rapidly growing region driven by strong underlying demographics including its rapidly growing GDP and the increasing affluence of the middle class among its 650 million population.

“SPRING Singapore welcomes the new partnership between Baidu and AMI and their commitment to work with startups in Singapore. We look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with Apollo Southeast Asia as part of our efforts to build a vibrant ecosystem for innovative tech enterprises in Singapore,” said Mr. Poon Hong Yuen, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore. SPRING Singapore is an agency that grows Singapore enterprises and builds trust in products and services. SPRING will merge with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore in Q2 2018.

"Reports on the Belt & Road Initiative tend to focus on its physical aspects rather what China calls the 'Digital One Belt One Road' - the marrying of technology to the high-speed rails, roads, tunnels, bridges and maritime ventures. We are very proud to have the opportunity to partner Baidu to expand in ASEAN. President Xi Jinping has told the developing nations that, with technology and a proper system to implement it, they may leapfrog over the developed nations in many areas. We look forward to being part of this initiative," said Mr. Lee Han Shih, Chairman, AMI & Asia Automotive Group (AAG).

“Baidu hopes to break down geographical boundaries with AI technology. Singapore’s local policy environment, market size and technology base make it fertile ground for the development of autonomous driving outside of China. We are delighted that Apollo is launching in Singapore, bringing with it China’s best technology, resources and operating experience to help build a world-class city for smart mobility. Apollo is from China, but is becoming increasingly global and in the future Apollo will cooperate with even more overseas regions,” said Mr. Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu.

Singapore-based AMI is a privately-held technology conglomerate specialized in Smart Mobility and Artificial Intelligence. Its subsidiary IUGO Systems is currently working with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority and regional partners in implementing cross-border mobility solutions to improve commuter experience and smart mobility infrastructure.

Baidu has been heavily investing into AI technologies and applications including conversational devices, fintech and autonomous driving. As the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, it has access to one of the world’s largest markets and consumer database. Apollo is an open platform that provides a comprehensive, secure, and reliable all-in-one solution that supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Through the Apollo platform Baidu aims to accelerate the pace of innovation in autonomous driving by promoting open capabilities, shared resources and sustained mutual benefit with partners.

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