Beijing (PingWest) — Chinese search giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) today showcased its Fully Automated Driving during Baidu World 2020, the company’s annual technology conference that was held in cooperation with China Central Television (CCTV). Zhenyu Li, Baidu Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group (IDG), demonstrated the technology in Beijing’s Shougang Park with CCTV anchor Xiaofeng Bao. With Apollo’s new Fully Automated Driving capability, the autonomous driving open platform is able to independently drive without a safety driver inside the vehicle. It marks a breakthrough that will accelerate the large-scale deployment of autonomous driving technology across China.
“The three core components of Apollo’s Fully Automated Driving technology are pre-installed and mass-produced vehicles, the ‘experienced AI driver’ which refers to the capacity of the AI system to fully control the vehicle, and the 5G Remote Driving Service, an indispensable complement to the experienced AI driver and allows human operators to remotely access vehicles in the case of exceptional emergencies.” said Zhengyu Li at the event. Compared with modified models, pre-installed and mass-produced vehicles better guarantee the consistency and safety. Such vehicles lays a foundation for the AI driving system’s capability of operating the vehicles independently, and the 5G Remote Driving Service allows remote human operators to intervene in case of emergencies.
Li also said that the cost of each new generation of Apollo vehicles will be halved while performance will increase tenfold,
With these advancements, unmanned driving will create a new ecosystem of shared transportation for unmanned vehicles, and the autonomous driving industry will enter the stage of full commercialization in 2025, said Robin Li, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Baidu.
Apollo also announced that vehicle manufacturer Weltmeister will launch a new model incorporating Apollo’s valet parking in 2021, which will be the first in China to be equipped with L4 autonomous valet parking technology. It will be able to identify vacant parking slots in multistory parking garages, and allow people to use the autonomous-parking and smart summons functions with one simple click.
Besides, DuerOS for Apollo with smart voice-interaction has been installed on millions of smart vehicles. The conversational AI system for Apollo is partnering with over 60 major automotive brands and covers more than 500 vehicle models on the market. DuerOS for Apollo is the world’s most installed system for CAV, according to IHS Markit’s latest report.
The Apollo smart transportation solution “ACE Transportation Engine” has been applied in nearly 20 cities in China. Robin Li predicted that by 2025 major Chinese cities will no longer need to limit vehicle purchases and usage, and by 2030 most traffic congestion issues can be solved by higher transportation efficiency. Smart transportation infrastructure based on V2X technologies promises to improve transportation efficiency by 15% to 30% and boost the contribution to GDP by 2.4% to 4.8% in absolute value.
Baidu also launched Apollo 6.0, the latest version of its open platform, which added multiple cloud services to make it more accessible for developers. The Apollo open platform has now released 600,000 lines of open source code, gathering 45,000 developers and 210 ecosystem partners globally.