Baidu Leading the Way for Autonomous Driving in China

By Ryan Gandolfo, November 5, 2018

0 0

On October 31, Baidu announced that they will be collaborating with Ford Motor Company on a two-year project testing self-driving cars on Beijing’s extensive roadways.

Just two days later, Volkswagen joined the Chinese tech company’s ever-growing list of partners who are focused on the evolution of automobile travel.

It’s been a busy week for Robin Li and the firm's autonomous driving platform, Apollo.

The Apollo consortium, an initiative spearheaded by Baidu and over 130 global partners, is aiming to speed up the development of self-driving cars by utilizing an open-source platform, which allows anyone to contribute to the project (granted they know what they’re doing).

Baidu’s Apollo system functions as your virtual driver, much like Tesla and Waymo’s car software, taking the human out of the equation and incorporating machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide a smooth experience.

apollo-baidu-timeline.jpg
Over the last year, Baidu's Apollo software has rapidly improved its functionality and real-life application. Image via Github

On Apollo’s official website, the platform showcases multiple components designed to optimize the driving experience from car safety and route changes to protection against network security breaches.

The self-driving coalition boasts the inclusion of top players in multiple industries, ranging from car makers to tech firms and universities, with industry leaders like Daimler and Nvidia in the mix. The prospect of mass-producing electric autonomous cars in Asia’s biggest market has successfully triggered the interest of car brands around the world.

baidu-driverless-cars.jpg
Image via @Baidu/Weibo

A statement by Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, highlighted the importance of working with Baidu to grow their company and improve driving conditions: “Working with a leading tech partner like Baidu allows us to leverage new opportunities in China to offer innovative solutions that improve safety, convenience and the overall mobility experience. This project marks a new milestone in the partnership between Ford and Baidu, and supports Ford’s vision to design smart vehicles that transform how we get around.”

Baidu is bringing car manufacturers like Ford into China’s autonomous driving market, offering them the tech company’s “leading-edge technological know-how and understanding of China,” according to Zhenyu Li, Vice President and General Manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group.

Baidu’s autonomous vehicle initiative is seen as a critical component of the company’s future, which has focused more and more resources on becoming a leader in artificial intelligence. Last year, the Chinese government called upon Baidu to lead AI innovation for self-driving cars in China. According to South China Morning Post, Baidu’s adopted strategy falls right in line with the country’s economic policy to develop into a global AI powerhouse.

Baidu has been working to deliver on those lofty goals. Last Thursday, the company opened a new concept AI park in Haiding District. The park featured an autonomous bus, driving people to various stops within the park's confines. According to Baidu, the park is free to check out and explore.

[Cover image via @Baidu/Weibo]

more news

Chinese Buyers Complain Over Tesla Self-Driving Computer Chip

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology called on Tesla to ensure its China-made cars are consistent, following complaints by Chinese customers.

A Guy Dumped Water on Baidu CEO Robin Li During a Live Event

Watch the moment a guy stormed the stage and drenched Robin Li with an entire bottle of water during an AI conference.

Baidu Updates News Search Options After Accusation of Bias

The new development follows accusations by a prominent Chinese journalist, Fang Kecheng, earlier this year.

WATCH: Bizarre Drunk Driving Accident In Shanghai Goes Viral

A video went viral after a car was shown precariously perched upon a barrier in the middle of a highway in Shanghai.

Self-Driving Taxis Shut Down in Guangzhou

This is a major setback for WeRide.ai, who had previously stated their desire to have 500 self-driving taxis on the road in 2019.

Self-Driving Taxis Debut in Guangzhou's University Town

As of now, three taxis can shuttle passengers within University Town, with Guangzhou Public Transportation Group saying that they plan to expand the area in the future.

Driverless Buses: Coming to a Chinese City Near You

It might not be long until you spot a sleek new method of public transport cruising Chinese roadways: driverless buses!

Beijing Announces Strict Driving Limits for Non-Local Cars

The measure is the local government’s latest attempt to ease the capital’s traffic congestion and air pollution.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.