Search engine Baidu has announced it will establish an intelligent driving group, headed by company president and artificial intelligence expert Lu Qi.
The move signals Baidu's latest push to transform itself into an AI-first company, days after chairman Robin Li flagged artificial intelligence as a strategic priority.
The newly formed group will comprise three business units focusing on autonomous driving, intelligent automobile, as well as internet of vehicles.
"Self-driving, intelligent transportation and internet of vehicles are major forces for industrial upgrade and they define Baidu's business strategy and core competence," a company statement said.
The restructure is also designed to create a leaner organization and direct reporting line to Lu, who has taken charge of the entire business operation since January.
Baidu is fast-tracking its self-driving car deployment, testing new models on public roads and partnering with chipmakers on computing platforms. In June, the company vowed to mass produce a driverless car within five years.