Chinese company Baidu’s technology will soon be helping deliver grocery for Walmart.
California startup Udelv has built self-driving vehicles using Baidu’s open-source autonomous driving software named Apollo, and plans to deploy them for delivering food items for U.S. supermarket chain Walmart. The news of this collaboration comes amidst heated trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Baidu’s autonomous AI tech unit is partly based in Silicon Valley. But it isn’t the only one that Walmart is leveraging for next gen logistics. Last year in Arizona, Walmart began testing the waters with a pilot program using Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google's parent company Alphabet. The retail giant has also run a pilot with Ford’s autonomous vehicles in Miami, Florida. These indicate potential competition between Baidu and American players in the driverless tech space, while Walmart seems to gear up against Amazon and other firms in the increasingly competitive grocery industry.