Daimler and Baidu sign MoU to expand automated driving partnership
The German automotive firm, Daimler, and the Chinese technology company, Baidu, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to extend their autonomous driving partnership.
The two firms partnered in 2017 to develop Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving platform and now aim to further strengthen their agreement through the platform.
Daimler and Baidu have set the target of integrating the technology firm’s connectivity services into a Mercedes-Benz infotainment system MBUX.
“With the changes facing the industry today, we have worked consistently to implement our C.A.S.E. strategy for innovation both globally and at a local level in China,” stated Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“In particular, automated driving and connectivity are progressing at an unprecedented rate in China, and our continued success depends not only on staying ahead of these trends but on leading them.”
“Daimler and Baidu already enjoy a strong partnership in these two fields, and the signing of this memorandum marks a new milestone in the cooperation between our two companies.”
“In the era of artificial intelligence and big data, the automotive industry will evolve according to a drastically different logic – from vertical integration to a platform-based ecosystem – making now the optimal time for global automakers and tech companies to work together and deepen cooperation in building an intelligent ecosystem,” remarked Mr Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu.
“It is my hope that this strengthened partnership between Baidu and Daimler will lead to more cross-industry collaboration and push forward the global automated driving industry.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”