Something like this has never been seen before. The promises made by the builders of Robo -1 (the name of the car) are astounding. It’s not just about autonomous driving, it’s also about voice control and a host of futuristic features.
The car is equipped with an artificial intelligence system that allows the driver to “talk” with the car and use many of its features.
It is built by Baidu. Who is this company?
Baidu is a search engine similar to Google, the most used in China.
Founded in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu, it is based in Beijing. In 2015, Baidu had a capitalization of over $60 billion.
Today Baidu itself, which allows us to search for any information on the internet, announced that it will put a super-technological low-cost electric car on the market in 2023.
It is built by Jidu (owned by Baidu) in collaboration with Geely, a major Chinese car manufacturer.
THE SAFEST AUTONOMOUS DRIVING THAT EVER EXISTED
The promises of the manufacturer are truly ambitious: “Robot-1 will drive autonomously 99% of the time, thanks to the artificial intelligence technology of Baidu Apollo.
It will be the first car marketed in the world to offer a safe driving autonomous car.”
The car will also be able to “read” traffic and road signs and adapt to weather conditions (rain, snow, ice) in real-time.
Thanks to a customized version of Apollo.
In fact, Baidu and several partners have created an open platform provided by the Chinese Google, which has been used by many car manufacturers of the rising sun.
The result is a car that can drive autonomously on most roads but is still under the supervision of a driver.
If they have come this far, it is because the company says it has accumulated more than 16.7 million kilometers of supervised autonomous driving with Apollo.
Jidu CEO Xia Yiping compares the computing power Baidu employs in training algorithms for autonomous driving to the custom supercomputer Tesla developed for Autopilot software.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND VOICE CONTROL
SomeIt will be possible to set the internal temperature, change music or make calls using voice commands.
All while driving in total relaxation, thanks to autonomous driving.
Robo-1 is in fact equipped with a super computer. That is a really powerful hardware and able to do all the calculations that the algorithm requires.
“For a long time the computing power of the car – explained Sia Jiping – was far inferior to that of our smartphones; now, however, things are changing.”
Otherwise they would never have achieved such a result.
MILLION EURO FUNDING FOR THIS PROJECT
Jidu is a car manufacturer recently created by Baidu and the auto manufacturer Geely from China, which has already financed the project with 300 million dollars.
Baidu in total has put $700 million on the table of this company branch. Why does an IT company invest in the automotive sector?
Because this field is constantly evolving and looking for innovative technological solutions to improve itself.
The automotive sector is shifting from a business model related to the production and sale of cars to a new model more focused on technology and services.
Baidu wants to be the catalyst of this important change.
There is another reason: the electric car market is still a virgin sector. I know that there are many car manufacturers (including electric ones), but they are still few compared to the demand we will have.
So for entrepreneurs it is seen as an expanding new sector to jump into. A sector not yet inflated and therefore there is still market space.
Xia didn’t just sell the software to other car manufacturers but decided to combine his software and hardware knowledge.
He also created a powerful system-on-a-chip for his car.
“The tech industry can enter the auto industry and really drive the evolution of cars over the next five to ten years,” explains Xia.
Thus, Baidu’s Chinese auto factory would be the first to build and design everything independently.
HOW MUCH DOES ROBO-1 COST AND WHEN DOES IT ARRIVE ON THE MARKET
In 2021, sales of electric vehicles in China increased by 169 percent from the previous year, according to a reliable source.
Out of the total sales, China’s electric power stations accounted for 14.8 percent of sales. Which is already a very high figure when you consider 4.1 percent of the United States.
There is a big gap to cover. In addition, China is already exporting its electric to Europe.
Soon Robo-1 will arrive. I am convinced it will appeal to many, giving healthy competition to US brands such as Tesla or Ford, international brands such as Stellantis, and the most prestigious
European brands such as Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen.
The look of the Robo-1: a futuristic-looking subcompact.
The Robo-1 is a four-seater city car and is the size of a Smart Forfour.
But its design is totally different: it is longer, wider and lower.
In short, it is a car that looks like it came out of a science fiction film.
The exterior is presented with very clean lines. At the same time very aggressive, as if it were almost threatening.
Indeed the car is equipped with a set of LED headlights and a large front grille.
The tires are wide to ensure greater grip, while the fenders have been widened to accommodate the air intakes needed to cool the engine.
This electric car is intended for a young audience who appreciates new technologies and who always wants to keep up with the times.
Its design is modern and original, with a yoke steering wheel and a widescreen display that occupies the entire dashboard.
The vehicle is not lacking in sensors, including a lidar for mapping the road in 3D.
The company said – on June 8 in Beijing – that the car will start at a price of around 28 thousand euros and should hit the market next year.
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