Baidu Launches Multi-Purpose Self-Driving Minibus

BaiduApolongII 400x275

August 6, 2021

Baidu has announced the launch of Apolong II, a new generation of multi-purpose minibuses being rolled out in China’s Guangzhou Huangpu district. The Apolong II includes advanced autonomous driving capabilities and new in-vehicle smart cabin technologies to enhance the passenger experience.

The company said Apolong II can meet diversified market demands by providing customized solutions for public transportation, mobile policing, healthcare providers and other commercial industry scenarios.

The Apolong II minibus is similar to the autonomous driving features of Baidu’s Apollo Robotaxi by using the latest self-developed autonomous driving computing unit and sensor systems, Baidu said. Compared to its predecessor, Apolong II has been upgraded with 155 enhancements that enable it to operate on open roads as the operational design domain has been expanded. The computing power of the vehicle has increased three times to 372 TOPS, and its sensor system now includes two 40-channel lidar sensors, which integrate millimeter-wave radars and surround-view cameras. The sensor system can now detect up to 250 meters, Baidu said, while positioning accuracy and responsiveness have reached levels that can be measured in centimeters or milliseconds, respectively. For example, the Apolong II can navigate the complexities of operating on open roads, such as unprotected left turns, lane-switching and crossing traffic scenarios.

The system includes Baidu’s vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and 5G remote driving service, complete with dual redundancy to ensure safety and reliability, the company added. With vehicle-road coordinations, issues related to smart driving for individual vehicles can be reduced by 54%, while emergency braking situations at intersections are reduced by 90%. 5G cloud-based driving can also enable the autonomous minibus to drive safely and smoothly, even under extreme circumstances, Baidu said.

For passengers, the smart cabin solutions include an intelligent 55-inch transparent window display, jointly developed by Baidu and BOE Technology. The display can visually showcase the road conditions and autonomous driving technologies at work. Passengers can also use the HD screen to voice-activate and command the in-vehicle DuerOS assistant, giving access to navigation features to explore the surrounding area for dining or entertainment recommendations. The smart cabin is designed with a circular seating arrangement, and includes dome lighting fixtures to provide “an innovative yet intimate experience for users,” Baidu said.

For more details on the vehicle, visit this Baidu website.

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