China’s Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU and HKEX:9888) is partnering with BAIC Group’s EV brand ARCFOX to jointly release Apollo Moon, a new generation of robotaxis that are set to be mass-produced with a per unit manufacturing price of RMB 480,000. That’s only one third of the cost of average L4 autonomous vehicles.
A fleet of 1,000 Apollo Moon autonomous EVs will be built over the next three years. Owing to the maturation in technology and mass production capabilities, the manufacturing cost per car will be lowered.
Apollo Moon will be geared with omni-sensors and computing unit redundancy functions as well as a precise failure detector and degradable processing algorithms, while 5G remote driving service and V2X will also be supported.
Zhenyu Li, Senior Corporate Vice President of Baidu and General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group (IDG), says: “As early as 2017, Baidu and BAIC Group entered into a strategic partnership. Both sides share the same goals and insist on independent R&D to promote the development of autonomous driving in China. The launch of Apollo Moon is an important breakthrough signifying the powerful linkage between China’s leading autonomous driving technology and the most advanced smart vehicle platform, marking a landmark step in the field of robotaxi ride-hailing services globally.”
Yu Liu, Chairman of the Board of BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology., adds: “Through this project, ARCFOX and Baidu will work together to explore the forefront of cutting-edge autonomous driving technology. With ARCFOX’s advanced automotive platform, we are well equipped to bring Baidu’s newest generation of autonomous driving technology to life. At the same time, ARCFOX and Baidu are also developing the next generation autonomous driving products. As self-driving cars change the future world of transportation, our goal is to bring users a smarter and more convenient travel experience. ARCFOX actively pioneers the field of autonomous driving, working closely with leading partners in the industry to create new experiences through the exploration of advanced technology.”
Currently, Baidu Apollo has been awarded with 2,900 patents for intelligent driving and 244 relevant road testing licenses, accumulating a total testing mileage of over 12 million kilometers that is steadily growing at a pace of 40,000 kilometers every day – equivalent to circling the globe once per day.