Baidu acquires xPerception to develop technology for self-driving cars
Chinese technology company Baidu purchases California based company xPerception with plans to accelerate the development of self-driving car technology.
By Eric Walz
Baidu, which is considered the Google of China, has agreed to purchase xPerception, a California based company that specializes in computer vision, perception, and camera hardware. xPerception has expertise in object detection and image processing, including three dimensional object detection. All of these technologies can be applied in autonomous vehicle development.
The acquisition will provide Baidu with additional resources in its efforts to develop autonomous technologies for self-driving cars. Baidu will house the company at its California research and development headquarters, where they are currently developing AI and deep learning software.
The deal will also boost Baidu's ability to compete with Google's Waymo, Uber, and others in the development of self-driving cars. Currently, Silicon Valley companies are in a heated race to be the first to introduce self-driving cars. In Feburary, Google sued Uber over their alleged theft of trade secrets by Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of Goole's self-driving car project who is now in charge of Uber's self-driving car division.
xPerception was founded in Mountain View, California, in 2016 by Bao Yingze and Chen Mingyu. Both of whom are former engineers at Magic Leap, a florida based augmented reality company, which Google was an early investor in. The acquisition amount is undisclosed.
According to a statement released by Baidu on Thursday, xPerception will continue to work on its core technology, which includes visual inertial, simultaneous localization, and robotic mapping, which uses visual and inertial sensors, such as cameras, accelerators, and gyroscopes, for object detection and path planning. These technologies are applicable to autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and virtual reality.