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China’s JIDU Unveils Concept Robocar for Autonomous Driving

JIDU ROBO 01 concept400x275

June 8, 2022

JIDU, a China-based electric vehicle company backed by Baidu and Geely, has announced its first concept production robocar, the ROBO-01. The design integrates intelligent driving powered by Baidu and a “cutting-edge futuristic design” aimed to revolutionize the automobile industry that leads to cars driven by AI.

Highlights of the concept car include an active deformable structure design, 3D borderless one-piece large screen, zero-gravity seating, AI pixel lights and dual max-computing chips, the company said. The capabilities of the car are based on a unique ‘trainable’ functionality and JIDU robocar neural JET  (JIDU Evolving Technology) supports high-level autonomous driving with full redundancy, SOA-based intelligent cabin and millisecond-level offline intelligent voice assistant.

JIDU said that this represents a transition from the “Fuel Car 1.0 Era” to the “Electric Car 2.0 Era” to a third “Intelligent Car 3.0 Era,” with the emergency of a new generation of automotive products.

“The Intelligent Care 3.0 Era is the era of robocars,” said Xia Yiping, CEO of JIDU. “The transition to this new era is marked by the shift of driving power from humans to AI, with robocars ultimately achieving self-generating progress led by AI. The automotive industry in the 3.0 era will see a seismic shift from a revolution in energy to a revolution in product attributes. The ultimate goal is to realize a fully driverless transportation experience. The JIDU robocar aims to meet users’ needs for intelligent travel, in-car intelligent assistance and intelligent cabin in the new era.”

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The futuristic ROBO-01 includes butterfly wing doors, a rear pair of doors and non-marking side windows to complement a dynamic robot-like car body. The 3D borderless screen is an integrated, non-spliced screen designed to run throughout the driving seat to the main passenger seat, providing an immersive audio and visual experience. In addition, the door handle, shift lever, left and right indicator levers and other physical control keys are removed, which makes the human-vehicle interaction experience more natural and seamless, JIDU said.

The prototype includes stronger AI perception and more active service capabilities, such as a set of fully adjustable structures like a front hood collapsible lidar, active liftable rear wing ROBOWing, foldable U-shaped steering wheel, liftable satellite speakers and adaptive zero-gravity seat.

The collapsible lidar enhances the safety and stability of the system while strengthening the sensing capability of advanced autonomous driving, JIDU said. The lidar can be collapsed by AI intervention before a crash occurs, improving safety. JIDU said it has obtained the Chinese national patent for this technology.

JIDU cabin800px

The U-shaped steering wheel maximizes the information availability on the screen. The steering-by-wire technology allows the wheel to be folded and hidden as needed, as well as enhancing the variable steering ratio of the vehicle in automatic driving mode. The spacecraft-inspired zero-gravity seats are lightweight and breathable, including a “swan neck” headrest design that can be adjusted for comfort.

Additional features include:

  • Interactive AI pixel headlights and a high recognition AI voice interaction system, enabling voice recognition outside the car for natural communications between humans, the vehicle and the environment;
  • NVIDIA’s dual Orin X chips and 31 external sensors, including two lidar, five millimeter-level wave radar, 12 ultrasonic radar and 12 cameras.
  • A full-stack Apollo autonomous driving system, which has been tested with 27 million kilometers of safe autonomous driving test mileage, and a large robotaxi road test fleet with real-world road tests in more than 30 cities across China.

The car is designed to adapt to three main driving scenarios: high-speed, urban roads, and parking. JIDU said the system has tested and verified the ability to handle unprotected left turns, traffic light recognition, obstacle avoidance and freeway on/off ramps. Users can access these and other advanced autonomous functions from the moment they begin driving, JIDU said.

JIDU said it plans to officially launch a limited version of its first production model in the coming fall, which will be 90% similar to the ROBO-01 concept car. The company also plans to unveil the design of its second production model at this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show.

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