Autonomy, Front And Center At Baidu World 2021

Baidu Co-founder and CEO Robin Li and CCTV host Beining Sa sit in Baidu’s newly launched robocar

Baidu World 2021 showed how central autonomous mobility is to the Chinese Internet giant. The company, which operates the most popular search engine in China, has dedicated immense resources toward next-generation transportation, first and foremost through its Apollo self-driving car program.

The three hour Baidu World presentation kicked off with CEO Robin Li unveiling the company’s new Robocar. The vehicle has two seats, no steering wheel, gull wing doors, and windshields that double as computer displays.

The vehicle has the feel of a concept car, rather than something that might ever hit real live streets. But the presentation quickly cut to a live demonstration of the car transporting Baidu employees in a suburban-style environment. The number of Robocars in existence, and their true capabilities, are unclear, but they are real enough to at least handle a demonstration route.

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