An automotive intelligence conference held by Baidu saw the AI company release a series of new products across the areas of intelligent driving, intelligent cabin and intelligent maps. Baidu also introduced four new key-capabilities for vehicle OEMs in a new white paper titled Baidu Apollo Self Driving Openness White Paper.
During the conference, Rob Chu, Baidu corporate vice president and GM of Apollo Self Driving, and Shan Jizhang, founder and CEO of Black Sesame Semiconductor, announced that Black Sesame Semiconductors will become the latest chip partner for Baidu Apollo Smart Driving, and that Apollo Highway Driving Pro will be deployed on Black Sesame’s Huashan II A1000 chip computing platform (which will officially be released in Q3 2023).
Baidu predicts that by 2026 the market penetration rate of models equipped with the L2+ advanced intelligent driving solution, including valet parking highway navigation pilots and city navigation pilots, will exceed 15%, marking a transition period for the intelligent vehicle sector.
“In 2026, when intelligent cars become more prevalent, new customers will be less likely to consider cars without intelligent driving capabilities,” said Zhenyu Li, senior corporate vice president of Baidu and president of the Intelligent Driving Business Group.
“Whoever can take the lead in providing consumers with a safe and secure intelligent driving experience will likely have a head start in the second half of the intelligent car competition,” explained Rob Chu, Baidu corporate vice president and GM of Apollo Self Driving.
Baidu Apollo also announced its intelligent driving solution Apollo City Driving Max, which will help car makers build smarter cars. The solution benefits from dual Nvidia Orin X with 508 TOPS arithmetic power. This is stated to be the only solution in China to provide users with a coherent experience on urban roads using pure vision perception. The current product definition also includes lidar to achieve “pure vision and lidar” true perception redundancy. The product uses a lightweight high-definition (HD) map which is nearly 80% “lighter” than traditional HD maps, enabling rapid urban generalization at a more effective price point.
Apollo Highway Driving Pro – Baidu’s integrated auto-navigation plus valet parking solution – has also undergone an algorithm platform upgrade. Using the latest single TDA4-VH platform, the AI and CPU computing power use is 50% less compared to its predecessor the TDA4-VH. Baidu anticipates that the solution will enable a more intelligent driving and parking functionality at a lower computing power and cost.
The company has also upgraded its autonomous parking solution Apollo Parking, which to date, has had a success rate of over 99% in the top five most commonly faced parking scenarios. The solution takes just 28 seconds to complete perpendicular parking.
Following the release of the Baidu Apollo Self Driving Openness White Paper, Baidu has announced four key capabilities: open experience definition, open independent experience evolution, open full-cycle OTA services, and open co-create with car manufacturing partners.
The company aims to help vehicle OEM’s achieve a leading position and commercial success with intelligent driving technologies, while ensuring quality end-user experiences.
Baidu summarizes the four open capabilities as:
Pre SOP phase: Baidu Apollo can open up the human-machine interaction interface, core capability SDK and underlying soft interfaces in the form of APIs and SOA services, enabling OEMs to define and implement human-machine interaction interfaces and intelligent driving styles in line with their own brand positioning and target audience, and to participate in the technical aspects of smart driving control to enhance the end-user experience.
Post SOP delivery: Baidu Apollo can open the Smart Driving Data Closed Loop Cloud and supporting tool chains to OEMs. This will provide them with support when building a data closed loop after the launch of new models so the manufacturer can independently carry out data-driven smart driving experience improvements and help them to have more control.
Further down the line, for up to three years post SOP, if automotive companies want their respective models to continue to enjoy the capabilities and experience of Baidu Apollo’s main line of intelligent driving products, Baidu Apollo will also provide them with corresponding solutions, including quarterly OTAs, to ensure the quality of their models’ smart driving capabilities.
Additionally, Baidu Apollo will provide technical support and training to the product, R&D and delivery teams of OEMs by setting up a joint product committee in cooperation with the manufacturer to collaboratively build a more complete intelligent driving ecosystem.