JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept Xijiajia

China’s Google, Baidu, unveils a self-driving concept car ahead of a production model in the near future

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Baidu’s JIDU unveils ROBO-01 self-driving concept car

When Baidu, the company frequently referred to as “China’s Google”, unveils a self-driving concept car ahead of a nearly-ready production model it deserves our attention, so here goes…

In January 2021, Baidu announced plans to establish an electric vehicle (EV) company and formed a strategic partnership with Chinese vehicle manufacturer (VM), Geely. The result was JIDU and on 8 June 2022 the new start-up unveiled the ROBO-01 concept car, which supports “high-level autonomous driving”.

Self-driving ROBO-01 video

JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept car video

JIDU’s CEO, Xia Yiping, commented: “The Intelligent Car 3.0 Era is the era of robocars. 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.”

JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept car
JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept car

The robocar was unveiled at an event branded Roboday, where digital human car owner Xijiajia interacted with ROBO-01.

JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept car side view
JIDU ROBO-01 self-driving concept car side view

The futuristic look involves a robot-like body with butterfly wing doors and an adjustable rear wing, while the interior features a large integrated screen, “swan neck” headrests and a foldaway U-shaped steering wheel – thus passing our Has it got a steering wheel? test.

The self-driving capabilities are enabled by the Baidu Apollo autonomous driving system, Nvidia‘s dual Orin X chips and 31 external sensors including two LiDAR, five millimeter-level wave radar, 12 ultrasonic radar and 12 cameras.

Self-driving production model

The aforementioned production model will be “90 percent similar” to the concept, sporting its futuristic designs and the U-shaped foldaway steering wheel.

The plan is apparently to prove the model in its home market first, targeting the 25-35 age group, and then go global.

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched Carsofthefuture.co.uk in 2019.