At CES 2019 in Las Vegas today Chinese tech giant Baidu introduced Apollo Enterprise, a new suite of customizable autonomous driving and Internet of Vehicles (IoV) solutions for mass production vehicles. The company also released Apollo 3.5, the latest and most sophisticated iteration of its open autonomous driving platform, which now supports complex urban and suburban driving environments.
Baidu also announced it will launch 100 robo-taxis in Changsha, Hunan province, in 2019. The vehicles will be equipped with Baidu’s V2X (vehicle to everything) technology and operate on 210 kilometres of city roads.
Baidu’s Apollo platform has grown into one of the largest autonomous driving ecosystems in the world, with over 130 global partners. It is used by over 12,000 developers and partners worldwide.
Apollo Enterprise is a new Baidu commercial brand aimed at an autonomous driving industry that is maturing from R&D to production and commercialization. Its autonomous driving and IoV products and solutions have been developed for mass production vehicles and are scalable, prioritize safety, and are highly customizable based on enterprise customer needs. Apollo Enterprise solutions support vehicle and information safety and can be upgraded via OTA (Over-the-Air Programing).
The five main Apollo Enterprise products and solutions are: 1) Highway autonomous driving solutions; 2) Autonomous valet parking solutions; 3) Fully autonomous driving minibus solutions; 4) Intelligent map data service platform, with options for commercial, ADAS, and high-definition maps; 5) DuerOS for Apollo, a set of AI-based IoV solutions, with voice assistant, augmented reality, and motion detection capabilities. Baidu is collaborating with global and national auto brands to deploy these solutions in production vehicles, including Ford, Chery, BYD, Hyundai Kia, Great Wall, and WM Motor.
“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. We’re excited to join hands with each and every Apollo Enterprise client to create safe, customizable, and scalable solutions to accelerate the commercialization of intelligent driving and enhance the mobility experience for everyone,” said Baidu President Ya-Qin Zhang.
Apollo 3.5 is the newest and most powerful Apollo release yet and the first open source autonomous driving platform that can perform in complex urban and suburban driving scenarios. The new release unlocks tools to help developers create reliable self-driving mobility solutions such as robo-taxis and autonomous delivery services.
Udelv, a California-based autonomous delivery van company, is leveraging Apollo 3.5 to develop its own autonomous driving solutions. At CES 2019, udelv announced up to 100 ADVs developed on the Apollo 3.5 software platform will be deployed this year in several US locations, including the San Francisco Bay Area.
The latest Apollo update includes new driving capabilities, such as the ability to manage unprotected turns, speed bumps, clear zones, side passes, narrow lanes, and autonomous parking.
One of the biggest innovations of Apollo 3.5 is in its brand-new high-performance runtime framework. The Apollo Cyber RT framework is the industry’s first open source autonomous driving framework compatible with the development of production-grade autonomous driving systems.
Apollo 3.5 is now compatible with the most advanced suite of sensors currently available on the market, such as Velodyne VLS-128 LiDAR.
Open Source V2X and Robo-taxis
Smart infrastructure development will enable faster and safer deployment of autonomous vehicles. Baidu announced at CES today that it has open-sourced its V2X solutions, which can help improve safety and mitigate traffic congestion by creating synergetic interactions between smart cars and intelligent roadways.
In 2019, 100 robo-taxis equipped with Baidu’s V2X technology will operate on 210 kilometers (130 miles) of city roads in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province in south-central China. This will be the first fleet of autonomous driving taxis managed by Baidu’s V2X system, a comprehensive solution that integrates smart vehicles and intelligent road infrastructure for safer deployment of autonomous cars.
Information provided by Baidu, Inc.