Baidu's first robot car is a vision of the future we could have imagined twenty years ago

China's Baidu and Chinese automaker Geely have unveiled a concept robocar called the ROBO-01. With it, Baidu's EV car subsidiary JIDU and Geely hope to lead the charge into an autonomous world.

Baidu unveiled its ROBO-01 all-electric hatchback on Wednesday. The vehicle features gull-wing doors, an integrated steering wheel, and a high focus on computing power.

The company says it has accumulated nearly 17 million miles (27 million kilometers) of supervised autonomous driving through robotaxis while using Baidu's Apollo platform. 

Nvidia's Orin X chips will power the car, along with 31 external sensors including LiDAR, millimeter-wave radar, ultrasonic radar, and 12 cameras.

A simulated vehicle tech called JIDU SIMUCar has been used to thoroughly test and verify the system as a whole, according to Baidu.

A Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform 8295 chip from Qualcomm also powers the car's large dash-mounted display, which can show 3D graphics for navigation, games, and even 'online office' scenarios.

Besides the “human-like” voice assistant, the car also has offline feedback that is provided within milliseconds, according to the automaker.

According to CEO Xia Yiping via Wired, the computing power of the training algorithms that power Baidu's self-driving technology can be compared to Tesla's custom supercomputer named Autopilot.

In addition to saying that you are on the way to making hardware from making software, Yiping also mentioned that the move comes from a desire to unite these two ideas.

A limited-edition production model will launch in the fall that will resemble the concept renders '90%'. The company will unveil a second model at this year's Guangzhou Auto Show.

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