Chinese language engine big Baidu has unveiled its latest-generation autonomous automobile with the Apollo RT6. Designed from the bottom up, the RT6 will enter service as a robotaxi with Apollo Go, the corporate’s ride-hailing service, subsequent yr.
Designed to look a little bit extra like a standard automobile than, say, Zoox’s autonomous robotaxi, the Apollo RT6 does have a flat ground and a detachable steering wheel to permit area for extra passengers, a desk, or a small merchandising machine. At 187-inches (4,760 mm) lengthy, it’s about 4 inches (100 mm) longer than an Audi Q5.
Though it might seem like a minivan, its design has been thought of fastidiously. With an X-shaped band operating alongside the hood, the automobile’s 8 LiDAR sensors and its 12 cameras have been built-in into the looks of the automobile. In whole, Baidu says the Apollo RT6 has 38 sensors that assistance is receive correct, long-range detection on all sides.
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With almost 20 million miles (32 million km) of testing below its belt, Baidu‘s company vp, Zhenyu Li, says that the automobile drives in addition to a human with 20 years of expertise behind the wheel.
Primarily based on the brand new E/E automobile structure, the Apollo RT6 was developed particularly to be autonomous. The corporate’s earlier technology autos, then again, featured AV know-how that had been retrofitted onto conventional autos.
The actual innovation in all of this, the corporate believes, is the value. Regardless of that includes innovative know-how, Baidu says that the Apollo RT6 has a per-unit value of RMB 250,000 ($36,927 USD at present change charges). That, it says, brings autonomous autos inside attain of extra folks.
“This huge value discount will allow us to deploy tens of hundreds of AVs throughout China. We’re transferring in the direction of a future the place taking a robotaxi might be half the price of taking a taxi as we speak,” mentioned Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
Rides might be run by means of Apollo Go, Baidu’s robotaxi service, which has been working since 2020. The service has served multiple million orders in 10 cities throughout China and the corporate says it has acquired a license to function robotaxis with out people within the driver’s seat in Beijing, per Reuters.