Chinese internet giant Baidu unveiled its vision for mobility of the future alongside a new robotaxi mobile platform that aims to make autonomous drive vehicles more accessible to the broader public.
Together, these announcements demonstrate how the Baidu Apollo intelligent driving program is leading the way towards the era of autonomous driving 2.0 – shifting from technical verification to large-scale commercial operation.
“We believe that cars of the future will be robocars. They will drive autonomously, act as both an intelligent assistant and loyal companion, and be self-learning,” said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu at the annual Baidu World conference, as he unveiled his vision for autonomous vehicles of the future – a robocar with L5 autonomous driving capabilities.
Li envisions that intelligent vehicles of the future will be more like intelligent robots: they will move, they will communicate, and they will learn. The robocar will not only be your vehicle, but also your driver, secretary, personal assistant. It will drive automatically, understand your words, take orders and continuously learn from you and upgrade to serve you a more personalized experience.
Featuring automated gull-wing doors and a transparent glass roof, all integrated with external sensors, the design of the new robocar is a dramatic break from traditional vehicles, and even from existing autonomous vehicles on the market. The interior features zero-gravity seats, a large curved intelligent display and control pad, with the steering wheel and pedals notably missing. Complete with voice and facial recognition, and advanced AI technology, the robocar can analyze the internal and external surroundings and make predictive suggestions to proactively serve the needs of its passengers.
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