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Apollo lands in Xiong’an: Baidu tests its autonomous vehicle fleet south of Beijing

XIONG’AN, Hebei – Baidu’s Apollo autonomous vehicle fleet “landed” here on December 20 and made a series of test runs over a stretch of roads about 4-km long.

The Apollo Board also had its first meeting there on the same day.

The Apollo Board consists of Baidu and nine other automakers and suppliers including Bosch, Continental, Daimler, Ford, Nvidia, Chery, BAIC, FAW and King Long. These 10 companies will decide the overall strategic direction of the Apollo ecosystem and discuss the development and management of urban autonomous vehicles to promote the formulation of relevant regulations and policies and explore future demonstration models of autonomous driving.

Lu Qi, president and COO of Baidu, said that Apollo’s open platform was chosen as the national autonomous driving AI open innovation platform to support the development of China’s autonomous driving technology and industry.

“The Apollo Board will lead the Apollo ecosystem to change the pattern of China’s auto industry and promote the process of autonomous diving industry,” said Lu.

The Apollo autonomous vehicle fleet roamed the streets of Xiong’an in autonomous driving modes. The fleet will continue to run in special areas of the city to accumulate skills and experiences, and aims to help make autonomous driving oriented transportation models into reality. Baidu applied with the local traffic administration authorities and received temporary permits for the safe and compliant operation of the fleet.

Baidu Apollo also displayed 10 different types of intelligent vehicles provided by Apollo Board member companies and their related partners, which showed the multi-scene and multi-dimensional application of Apollo in passenger vehicles, commercial buses, logistics vehicles and special-purpose vehicles, which formed what Baidu claimed as a “microcosm of China’s autonomous driving.”

Baidu’s Apollo ecosystem has more than 70 members and is the largest such ecosystem in the world. With the establishment of the Apollo Board, the ecosystem will gather more autonomous driving industry participants and through the collaborative and win-win cooperation of eco-members to accelerate the arrival of the global autonomous driving era.

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