• Baidu says its new big data platform can help manage traffic congestion.

Baidu says its new big data platform can help manage traffic congestion. (Photo : Twitter/Michael Dunne)

Chinese Internet giant Baidu launched a new big data platform aimed to build a comprehensive intelligent transportation network that encompasses highways, railways, and aviation routes.

Dubbed the Mobility & Information cloud, the new project is a joint effort between Baidu and the Ministry of Transportation, China Daily reported. The platform is intended to provide bot the government and the public, as well as businesses and other organizations, with integrated intermodal mobility information and related services for the use of that data.

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The initial project will let users access to traffic data provided by 15 provinces and cities across the country, including Beijing, Sichuan and Henan Provinces, and Suzhou. Data shared by Internet firms and research firms will also be made available.

Li Zhitang, general manager at the Baidu Map Open Platform department spearheading the project, said that the new platform will help ease traffic situation in the country by delivering the necessary information for them to use in managing their mobility.

He added that the government will also now have a means of better understanding of public transportation and make the needed adjustments.

Li also revealed that they plan to expand the project and cooperate with more local governments and organizations to gather even more data.

Meanwhile, Baidu has also announced that it is terminating its joint venture with global car manufacturer BMW to develop self-driving vehicles, Engadget reported. According to BMW China CEO Olaf Kastner, the two parties have decided to end the partnership after they were not able to come to an agreement on how the project should proceed.

The joint project was launched in June, with Baidu using a fleet of BMW 3 sedans to conduct on-road testings. The Chinese Internet firm also had plans to do tests in the United States. With the termination of the deal, Baidu is now looking for a new global partner in order to meet its target of delivering self-driving cars to the public by 2018.

Meanwhile, Baidu and BMW that they will still continue with the high-definition mapping project they are currently undertaking.