Baidu Announces Apollo 2.0 as Open to US Developers

Wang Jingao, head of Apollo research and development, announced at the Baidu World Conference in Las Vegas today that Apollo 2.0 is officially open.

Apollo 2.0 enables automatic driving on simple urban roads using four modules: the cloud service, hardware platform, software platform and reference vehicle platform. Apollo 2.0 offers the most complete solution and flexible architecture. It opens security services for the first time and further enhances the capabilities of self-positioning, perception, planning, decision-making and cloud simulation.

According to Wang, the current version of Apollo 2.0 has 165,000 lines of code. AutonomouStuff, an automatic driving start-up based in Silicon Valley, upgraded its Apollo 1.0 vehicle to Apollo 2.0 within the week, reflecting the flexibility and ease of using Apollo 2.0.

Wang said Apollo is very developer-friendly:

  1. The localization is very good. In version 1.0, we asked Baidu CEO Robin Li to demonstrate automatic driving at the National Convention Center since we performed well in localization.
  2. Highly-advanced techniques. During the Apollo2.0 road test, when crossing the intersection, traffic lights and turning around, reporters said, “It’s boring. There is no difference from manned driving.”
  3. Able to screen traffic lights, recognize objects 500 meters away and identify obstacles.
Wang Jingao

It used to take 30 minutes to upload the data to the cloud, but the time has been reduced to 30 seconds. Apollo 2.0 can drive both in day and at night. Apollo is usable not only in San Jose and Beijing, but also in Illinois.

Apollo announced that it will fully support four major computing platforms – NVIDIA, Intel, NXP and Renesas – in 2018. Apollo has become the world’s most dynamic automatic driving open platform with more partners coming in.

Wang Jingao showed off the work of Apollo Pilot, Chery, Jinlong and LA, which covers a variety of scenarios such as passenger cars, public buses and sharing traffic service. Baidu will manufacture L3-level self-driving cars with Chery in 2020; will produce unmanned micro circulated bus with Jinlong in 2018; and will provide pilot self-driving sharing travel for disabled people in Los Angeles at the end of 2018 with Access LA.

This article by Xin Ling originally appeared in Sina Technology and was translated by Pandaily.