creator: Eric Walz
The self-driving Apolong II Minibus shall be utilized in Baidu’s “Apollo Go” transportation service.
Chinese language expertise big Baidu, Inc. introduced the launch of Apolong II, a brand new era of multi-purpose autonomous minibuses which can be being rolled out in Guangzhou Huangpu District. The fully-autonomous shuttle shall be used as a part of a commercial robotaxi service and is powered by the corporate’s Apollo autonomous driving platform. The Apolong II has no steering wheel or pedals and is designed to function with out human intervention.
The primary era Apolong, which has been in manufacturing since 2018, was the primary commercial-grade autonomous electrical minibus launched in China. It was additionally the primary self-driving minibus to attain large-scale operations in China, serving 120,000 customers whereas touring a complete of 120,000 kilometers. It has been deployed in 22 city parks in Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiong’an, Chongqing, Foshan and others.
Baidu, which is sometimes called the “Google of China”, has been engaged on self-driving expertise since launching its open autonomous driving platform referred to as “Apollo” in 2017.
The tech big goals to be the first company to scale and commercialize autonomous driving technology in China. Baidu’s plans embody scaling its business ride-hailing service referred to as “Apollo Go” utilizing fully-autonomous automobiles.
The Apolong II minibus successfully mirrors the autonomous driving capabilities of Baidu’s different Apollo robotaxis by incorporating the most recent self-developed autonomous driving computing unit and sensor system.
The Apolong II is provided with the most recent Baidu autonomous driving capabilities and is extremely configurable. It may be custom-made for public transport, cellular policing, healthcare suppliers and different business business makes use of. In comparison with the primary era, the Apolong II obtained 155 functionality enhancements, in response to Baidu.
Among the many updates, the compute energy of Apolong II has elevated threefold to 372 Tops (372 trillion operations per second).
The notion system of the Apolong II was enhanced to incorporate two 40-channel LiDAR sensors, which combine with millimeter-wave radars and encompass view cameras for full 360 notion protection across the automobile. The refined sensor system can now detect objects as much as 250 meters forward. All the self-driving methods are totally redundant to make sure security and reliability.
Powered by Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving platform, the Apolong II can efficiently navigate on city roads and carry out maneuvers that had been as soon as troublesome for self-driving automobiles, comparable to unprotected left turns, computerized lane adjustments and touring by intersections with pedestrian crossings.
The Apolong II is designed to be half of a bigger mobility ecosystem. It is designed to enhance different autonomous automobiles or conventional public transport that may vastly scale back the strolling distance of customers, Baidu says. The automobile could be repurposed for last-mile public transportation, ride-hailing providers, scenic excursions and extra.
The Apolong II makes use of Baidu’s vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and 5G distant driving service. The distant driving service permits for a human operation to remotely take over management of the automobiles in conditions the place software program encounters an issue, comparable to in building zones leading to lane closures.
The V2X communications expertise, which Baidu calls “Apollo Air“, permits its self-driving automobiles to speak with different close by automobiles, site visitors lights, buildings or with embedded sensors within the roadway. The expertise could make roads safer by alerting different automobiles in real-time about present street circumstances.
By utilizing V2X expertise to speak with street sensors and different automobiles, Baidu says that points associated to good driving for particular person automobiles could be lowered by 54%, whereas emergency braking conditions at intersections are lowered by 90%.
Baidu additionally made refinements contained in the Apolong II to enhance passenger consolation. Its spacious good cabin is designed with a round seating association with dome lights to offer a singular cabin expertise for passengers.
The Apolong II additionally comes with cutting-edge good cabin options, together with an clever 55-inch “clear window show” collectively developed by Baidu and BOE Know-how. The large show reveals the street circumstances and autonomous driving applied sciences at work.
Apolong II passengers also can use this HD display screen to voice-activate and command its in-vehicle DuerOS assistant, which offers entry to navigation options to discover the encompassing space for eating or leisure choices.
In June, Baidu revealed an electrical robotaxi automobile referred to as “Apollo Moon” that can finally be used within the increasing Apollo Go service. Baidu says the Apollo Moon EV is a “monumental milestone within the large-scale commercialization of totally autonomous ride-hailing providers in China.” The corporate plans to deploy 1,000 of its Apollo Moon robotaxis over the subsequent three years.
Whereas the multi-passenger Apolong II shall be deployed in public parks, airports, enterprise districts and residential communities within the Huangpu District of Guangzhou.