Baidu doubles down on self-driving

Tyrone Stewart

Baidu self-driving fleetBaidu is getting even more serious about self-driving cars with updates to its Apollo open-source autonomous vehicle technology platform.

The first is a suite of products and solutions for mass production vehicles called Apollo Enterprise. The Enterprise solutions include highway autonomous driving, autonomous valet parking, fully autonomous driving minibuses, an intelligent map data service platform, and DuerOS – Baidu’s voice assistant – for Apollo.

Baidu claims to already have more than 130 global partners and over 12,000 developers on its Apollo platform. It is working with the likes of Ford, Chery, BYD, Hyundai Kia, Great Wall, and WM Motor to implement its Enterprise solutions in production vehicles.

“With the key development of Apollo Enterprise, Baidu Apollo expands from an open technology platform to a leading product and service provider for autonomous driving and connected vehicles,” said Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Baidu. “We’re excited to join hands with each and every Apollo Enterprise client to create safe, customisable, and scalable solutions to accelerate the commercialisation of intelligent driving and enhance the mobility experience for everyone.”

In addition to Enterprise, Baidu also released Apollo 3.5, the latest version of its platform. The company says that the platform can now “perform in complex urban and suburban driving scenarios” and has been designed with an eye on things like robo-taxis and autonomous delivery services.

One company making use of the platform is autonomous delivery company Udelv. The firm will be using the platform to deploy 100 self-driving delivery vehicles in US locations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, this year.

Finally, Baidu has open-sourced its V2X (vehicle-to-everything) solutions and will bring 100 robo-taxis to cover 130 miles of city roads – equipped with the technology – in Changsha, the capital city of China’s Hunan province.