Baidu is launching self-driving shuttle buses running their Apollo open-source self-driving software. The bus model is called “Apolong”, which I assume is a portmanteau of “Apollo” and “King Long”, the Chinese vehicle manufacturer.
At the Baidu Create 2018 conference, Baidu CEO Robin Li announced the autonomous shuttles will launch this year in China and early next year in Japan.
“2018 marks the first year of commercialization for autonomous driving. From the volume production of Apolong, we can truly see that autonomous driving is making great strides — taking the industry from zero to one.”
The autonomous vehicle market might come to resemble some aspects of the mobile phone market, but this time with Google (technically, Alphabet/Waymo) controlling the closed ecosystem.
Baidu says it will support at least four companies’ computational units: Intel, NVIDIA, NXP, and Renesas. That’s part of the larger group of 100+ partners they’ve signed up.