Chinese market is considered as one of the biggest market for self-driving industry owing to huge consumer base. Tech giants have been lining up for establishing their manufacturing facilities in the country to reduce transportation and manufacturing costs. However, Chinese regulations do not offer subsidiaries to foreign firms. So, not only automakers but also tech giants adopted a collaboration strategy to enter the market. At the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2018, major collaborations were announced, which showed that manufacturers look forward to make mark in the notoriously huge market by partnering with local players.
The chipmaker Intel announced a collaboration with Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor for development of Level 3, 4, and 5 self-driving cars. Moreover, the U.S. chipmaking giant collaborated with Chinese mapping technology developer NavInfo.
The collaboration with Intel would help SAIC to develop advance driver assistance system. Intel’s collaboration with SAIC would help it in introducing new chip infrastructure. The deal with NavInfo would help Intel systems to get accurate mapping data as Chinese regulations restrict foreign firms from obtaining mapping data essential to operate autonomous cars successfully.
Intel becomes a new partner of SAIC as the Chinese carmaker has been working with other leading car manufacturers including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, and Alphabet-owned Waymo.
In another announcement at CES 2018, Nvidia, ZF, and Baidu announced collaboration on self-driving car technology focused on China. Though all companies have worked on autonomous car technology, this will mark the first time they will work together. Baidu would collaborate its Apollo software platform with Nvidia’s Xavier and ZF’s ProAI. Xavier would act as a brain to determine what needs to be done and ProAI as eyes to offer inputs from various sensors.
The Baidu’s involvement in the collaboration plays significant role as it is a local player. The companies have not yet stated the level of autonomy on which they will launch cars.
It is interesting to see if these new combinations could create something that has not been created before.