Baidu I made several major announcements about Apollo, their open source autonomous vehicle technology platform, today at CES. The first is the Apollo launch. Vehicle company to be put into mass production. The company claims that Apollo is already being used by 130 partners around the world. One of its newest partners, Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motors, plans to deploy Tier 3 autonomous vehicles by 2021.
Apollo Enterprise’s core product lines will include solutions for autonomous on-highway driving; autonomous valet parking; fully autonomous minibuses; a smart map data service platform; and DuerOS (Baidu voice assistant) for cars.
Baidu also released Apollo 3.5, the latest version of its platform, which now supports “complex urban and suburban driving environments.” Apollo 3.5 is already being used by customers, including Udelv, an autonomous delivery van startup that recently partnered with Walmart to test grocery deliveries. Baidu says that up to 100 Apollo 3.5-based automatic vehicles will be deployed in the San Francisco Bay Area and other regions of the United States.
In China, Baidu plans to launch 100 robo-taxis that will cover 130 miles of city roads in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. The robo-taxis will use Baidu’s V2X (i.e. vehicle to everything) technology, so they can communicate with road infrastructure, such as traffic lights.