China’s Baidu Inc. has agreed to jointly develop new cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) solutions aimed at Chinese automakers with Harman International, Samsung’s wholly-owned subsidiary focused on connected technologies for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets.
The two companies will collaborate to integrate Baidu’s DuerOS-based personal digital assistant and voice recognition engine technologies with Harman’s connected car and cloud platforms.
"The partnership between Baidu and Harman will let consumers use natural voice control to more safely and conveniently interact with their cars and access off-board information and services,” said Qi Lu, group president and chief operating officer at Baidu. “Extending our successful partnership with Harman further demonstrates our joint commitment to creating the most flexible, innovative solutions that are tailored to meet the unique demand of Chinese auto industry and customers.”
DuerOS is an open operating system that already supports access to a voice-activated digital assistant for mobile phones, TVs, speakers, and other devices, while supporting the ability of third-party developer access. Together, the companies will now collaborate to create smart automotive features including automatic speech recognition (ASR) in English and Mandarin, natural language processing and speech synthesis.
The agreement builds on Harman’s existing relationship with Baidu. In January 2015, Harman and Baidu entered into a strategic collaboration to launch CarLife, a vehicle networking solution that offers advanced Internet capabilities, entertainment features and location-based services on Harman’s in-vehicle infotainment head units designed for the Chinese market.
"Harman’s vision is to revolutionize the in-car experience. As we look forward to a future with increased autonomy, Harman and Baidu will continue to collaborate to deliver enhanced in-vehicles experiences to drivers that are intuitive and easy to use, and seamlessly integrated with their digital lifestyle," said Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman.
Beyond the automotive market, Harman and Baidu DuerOS have also announced plans to deliver high-quality audio solutions for innovative speech-enabled smart speakers, also integrated with Baidu’s advanced AI technology.