Robin Li, founder and CEO of Chinese tech company Baidu, unveiled “Robocar” at Baidu World Conference on Wednesday. The announcement officially launches the company’s Apollo Robocar and “Luobo Kuaipao”, a robotaxi services platform.
This Robocar looks very sci-fi by utilizing automatic gull-wing doors, an all-glass roof and external sensors. The interior of the Robocar is equipped with intelligent configurations such as a super-large curved screen, smart console, dimming glass and a zero-gravity seat without the traditional steering wheel and pedals.
Li said, “The Robocar is different from the car that everyone has ever imagined. It will be more like a robot, following the trend that cars will evolve in the future.”
The company stated that its Robocar is a Level-5 autonomous vehicle, which is unmanned but safer than human drivers. Secondly,the vehicle has a multi-mode interaction capability which includes features such as voice and face recognition to analyze the potential needs of users and respond accordingly. On top of that, the new car has the ability to learn on its own and will be continuously updating itself, acting as an intelligence to serve various scenarios.
In June 2021, Baidu Apollo launched the 5th generation shared unmanned vehicle Apollo Moon, and its cost per mile dropped by 60% again. At present, the cost of Apollo Moon, including the whole body and driverless kit, is 480,000 yuan ($74,060), which is within the operating cost range of most online car-hailing businesses.
According to the company’s most recent financial report for the second quarter that ended June 30, 2021, Baidu Apollo has obtained 278 automatic driving test licenses. Its autonomous driving travel services are currently available in Beijing, Guangzhou, Changsha and Cangzhou, serving more than 400,000 passengers. Finally, the number of autonomous driving patents has exceeded more than 2,900 while the Apollo L4 automatic driving test mileage surpassed 12 million kilometers, up by 152% year-on-year.
In addition, Baidu also released a robotaxi services platform called “Luobo Kuaipao”. This platform is now in use in cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Changsha and Cangzhou, and users can book taxi services through the APP. The APP combines Apollo’s operation practice over the past two years, and can provide commercial operation and diversified value-added services to the public.