Introducing Jidu Robo-1, China’s AI-Powered Futuristic Car

Like Google, China’s search engine giant, Baidu, has a firm grip on the Chinese internet space. Baidu has dominated China’s internet industry for years, raking in billions of dollars annually from search engines and other web services.

However, Baidu’s ambition extends beyond just the internet ecosystem; its next destination seems to be the automobile industry. The internet behemoth plans to shake the automotive space, and this is just the beginning.

Jidu Robo-1 to the World

Baidu recently launched Jiddu, an automobile firm in partnership with Geely, the Chinese carmaker. The duo unveils the prototype of its first car, a futuristic and autonomously designed hatchback dubbed the Jidu Robo-1.

According to the company’s statement, the AI-powered vehicle will be available next year. It is also expected to cost an equivalent of $30,000.

The Robo-1 has a sleek and angular design with swinging doors that users can open by moving it upward at the front and backward from the rear. Its interior is space-like with racing-style seats and a windscreen covering the whole dashboard.

Moreover, the Robo-1 is fitted with sensors that include a 3D road mapping feature known as Lidar. According to the car company, the final model of the car will be a 90% replica of the prototype displayed in Beijing.

However, Jidu did not specify the car component it would replace in the final model.

Aside from the sleek interior, Jidu’s parent company is confident that software now has a place in car manufacturing. Baidu believes that including artificial intelligence (AI) in the automobile industry is gaining traction.

The internet giant has invested heavily in AI technology and hopes to stake a claim in the now highly competitive software industry.

Autonomous Cars on the Rise

The automobile landscape is rapidly changing, with electric cars being the latest buzzword in the industry. Baidu plans to leverage the shift in the direction of the sector by developing disruptive solutions.

In January, Jidu announced the $400 million Series A funding financed by Baidu and Geely. Previously, the automotive maker also received a $300 grant from the duo for its AI car projects.

Moreover, Geely has extensive experience manufacturing electric cars in collaboration with Volvo and other Chinese car brands.

The CEO of Jiddu, Joe Xia, explained the rise of Jidu’s innovative ideas. For some time, the computing power of Robo-1 has been small compared to smartphones. But the company has worked out how to make it more significant than it was previously.

Xia added that the Jidu Robo-1 comes with an autonomous driving function, a customized version of Apollo. Many car brands in China use Apollo as an open platform created by Baidu and others.

According to Jidu’s website, the Robo-1 is capable of automatic driving on most roads with the supervision of a driver. In addition, the car has covered more than 16.7 million miles of supervised driving via Apollo as of April 2022.

It is fair to say the automotive industry is fast-changing, with new developments taking center stage.

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