Baidu Invests in Velodyne

Gasgoo (Shanghai, August 15th)—It’s learned that Baidu (owner of the leading search engine in Japan) has reached investment intent with Velodyne LiDAR, but no accurate investment amount or share ratio has been reported. In the future, the two companies will conduct deep cooperation in self-driving and other areas. Velodyne is a Silicon Valley company which established in 1983, famous for its 64-Line Laser Radar Product, which is used by Google’s self-driving car.

This year, Velodyne just stripped its laser radar department and established a new company, Velodyne LiDAR. It’s revealed on “2016 Self-driving Development and Testing Seminar”that Velodyne’s laser radar product has basically become “standard component”for self-driving cars. According to current information, Baidu’s first aim in investing Velodyne LiDAR is to serve for the mass production of self-driving cars.

Baidu established self-driving business unit in December, 2015, and proposed a “three years for commercial vehicles and five years for mass production”plan. Self-driving project is on trial operation in Wuhu and Wu Village in succession, and now the product in under testing in Shanghai. Wang Jing, General Manager of Baidu’s self-driving business unit, said that Baidu is directly aiming at fully automatic driving and will buy the most expensive sensor to protect customers’safety and gradually achieve commercial mass production.

He reveals that the supplying price for Velodyne 64-line Laser Rader product has decreased from RMB 700,000 to RMB 500,000, resulted by Baidu’s mass purchasing. Baidu will have an opportunity to obtain a cheaper product after it holds Velodyne LiDAR’s shares. For Velodyne LiDAR, cooperating with a Chinese company makes it easier to open the domestic market. China has become one of the most active countries in R&D of self-driving technologies, and Baiduhas leading technologies among all domestic companies. The two sides may also consider cooperation in technologies, resources, apart from strategic layouts.

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