Baidu’s first robot car looks like the future we imagined 20 years ago

Chinese tech giant Baidu has unveiled a concept robot called ROBO-01. With it, the company’s EV car subsidiary JIDU and Chinese automaker Geely hope to lead the charge in a world of fully autonomous cars.

The ROBO-01, which Baidu announced on Wednesday, is an all-electric hatchback with gull-wing front doors, a folding steering wheel and a big focus on computing power. The car will employ Baidu’s Apollo platform, which is used by many automakers in China. According to the company, it has accumulated nearly 17 million miles (27 million kilometers) of supervised autonomous driving via robotaxis using the platform.

The car will be equipped with Nvidia’s Orin X chips, as well as 31 external sensors including LiDAR, millimeter wave radar, ultrasonic radar and 12 cameras. The system as a whole, according to Baidu, has been extensively tested and verified through JIDU’s simulated vehicle technology called JIDU SIMUCar.

Baidu concept car interior (Image credit: Baidu)

Baidu also equipped the car with Qualcomm’s fourth-generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform 8295 chip, which allows the car’s large dashboard-mounted screen to display 3D images for navigation, gaming and “online office” scenarios. A “human-like” voice assistant also inhabits the car, providing offline feedback in milliseconds, according to the automaker.

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