A driverless car by Baidu Apollo is seen at the 2018 International Intelligent Transportation Industry Expo in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province in December 2018. (STR/AFP/File)
Baidu is developing its autonomous driving platform with a bit of a different approach compared to other industry leaders like Tesla or NVIDIA: The company’s most recent software platform is open source and allegedly the first one capable of ‘complex’ driving.
Baidu's self-driving car platform can handle parking and speed bumps https://t.co/spvP16d0uf— Baidu Inc. (@Baidu_Inc) January 9, 2019
To kick off CES 2019, Baidu announced that Apollo 3.5 can manage “unprotected turns, speed bumps, clear zones, side passes, narrow lanes, and autonomous parking;” one can only hope that parallel parking is included in that final category. Udelv, an autonomous delivery van company, will be utilizing the platform this year in up to 100 test vehicles across the US.
Additionally, the company shared the news that it has created Baidu Apollo Enterprise, which is a customizable suite of intelligent driving products targeted at enterprises. International automotive brands, including Ford, Great Wall, and Hyundai Kia — which are already collaborators with Baidu — will be able to select from five offered products: Autonomous highway driving solutions, autonomous valet parking solutions, fully autonomous minibus driving solutions, intelligent map data service platform and vehicle AI system DuerOS for Apollo — which can turn any device with a microphone and speaker into a smart device.
Finally, staying in line with its open source theme for CES, Baidu announced that it has open sourced the code for its V2X solutions. This software is Baidu’s basis for the communication between intelligent vehicles and intelligent roadways. This year, 100 robo-taxis are scheduled to operate with this solution in south-central China over 130 miles of city roads.
The intention behind opening this technology up to the public is that it will become more accessible, as Baidu smart vehicles will struggle to be autonomous without being properly connected to intelligent roadways. The more present these solutions are on the street, the more safely and successfully autonomous traffic will operate. The company is off to a good start by integrating the technology into vehicles manufactured by major automotive companies like Ford and Great Wall.