VELODYNE LIDAR ANNOUNCES THREE-YEAR SALES AGREEMENT WITH BAIDU

>> Velodyne Lidar, Inc. today announced a three-year sales agreement with Baidu for its Alpha Prime™ lidar sensors

Velodyne Lidar, Inc. today announced a three-year sales agreement with Baidu for its Alpha Prime™ lidar sensors. The Alpha Prime sensors will be utilized for autonomous applications. Velodyne’s low-cost, high-scale manufacturing delivers attractive pricing for Baidu and its Apollo partners.

Baidu and Baidu’s Apollo program, an open-source autonomous vehicle software platform, selected the Alpha Prime for its range, resolution and field of view that collectively address the high-performance requirements for autonomous vehicles. Quality 3D lidar vision is a critical component for autonomous vehicles to accurately perceive the environment.

The Alpha Prime sensor produces millions of data points per second, enabling precise, reliable navigation in real time to detect objects, vehicles and people that might pose a collision threat. The Alpha Prime can help autonomous vehicles navigate roadways at various speeds, traveling in a range of road conditions such as rain, sleet and snow. This powerful lidar will enhance the vehicle capabilities.

Baidu has been a strategic investor in Velodyne since 2016. Baidu and Velodyne share a strong commitment to advancing autonomy and safety on roadways.

Velodyne’s Alpha Prime is a next generation lidar sensor that utilizes Velodyne’s patented 360-degree surround view perception technology to support autonomous mobility. A result of over ten years of lidar development and learning, the Alpha Prime supports autonomous operation across a broad range of road settings, including urban and highway environments. Velodyne has multiple manufacturing sources available, including in the United States, Japan and Thailand, to produce high-quality sensors at scale to address customer needs.

 

RTI JOINS THE BAIDU APOLLO AUTONOMOUS DRIVING PARTNER ECOSYSTEM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the largest software framework provider for smart machines and real-world systems, today announced it has joined the Baidu Apollo autonomous driving partner ecosystem. Apollo is Baidu’s open-source full-stack software solution for driverless vehicles. RTI joins with an elite group of OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, developer platforms and startups, in a joint effort to accelerate the development and adoption of autonomous driving on the Apollo driverless operating platform.

Baidu started working on autonomous driving technology in 2013, and its Apollo has become the world's largest open-source autonomous driving platform. With a robust global ecosystem of nearly 200 partners, Apollo has obtained 1,598 patents and completed more than 6 million kilometers of road tests. In March 2020, NR, the global research organization, listed Apollo as one of the four leaders in autonomous driving in the world.

In a statement, Wang Yunpeng, Senior Director of the Technology Department of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group, said that as the world’s leading Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity solution provider, RTI provides key solutions to enhance the robustness and stability for autonomous driving technology. Baidu welcomes RTI in its Apollo autonomous driving partner ecosystem and hopes the cooperation will create new breakthroughs in technology.

 

Apollo Valet Parking (AVP), designed for the private car industry and even car sharing companies, empowers vehicles with the ability to fulfill remote car retrieval, remote car automated parking, self-detective parking spots and even low-speed cruise, while greatly improving the parking experience for car drivers. Today, AVP is required by more car OEMs as a new feature. The Baidu AVP solution consists of software including sensing, perception, planning and control. Baidu also developed a domain controller called Apollo Computing Unit (ACU), integrated with RTI Connext DriveTM software, that is aimed at mass production projects to provide the full stack capability for car OEMs.

RTI Connext Drive, based upon the open Data Distribution ServiceTM (DDS) standard, is a software framework that enables superior communications reliability, a critical factor in the development and operation of autonomous vehicles. With Connext Drive, manufacturers can be more responsive and innovative in this fast-changing market. They get more value out of their applications by using a data-centric framework that supports their needs now and in the future. Connext Drive builds on proven RTI technology already used in over 250 autonomous vehicle programs around the world, as well as over 1,500 other demanding, real-time, intelligent distributed systems.

TESLA ANNOUNCES IT WILL USE BAIDU MAPS IN ITS CHINA-MADE VEHICLES

Tesla announced in a post on its official Chinese Weibo account that it will use Baidu's mapping services for its vehicles in China. The Chinese microblogging platform Wiebo is the equivalent of Twitter in the U.S.

In Tesla's post on Weibo, the company said that its map data service provider will be replaced by Baidu so Tesla owners can have a "better driving experience on the road."

Presumably, all of the The Model 3 sedans built at Tesla's new factory in Shanghai will use maps from Baidu for Tesla's built-in navigation and route planning, as well as finding EV charging locations along the way.

Baidu is one of the world's biggest tech companies and the equivalent of Google in China and its presence in China is huge. Baidu Maps first launched in 2005 and has over 350 million monthly users.

Baidu is developing its own self-driving cars under the the open Apollo platform using its own maps, including HD maps for autonomous driving. To build its maps, Baidu uses data supplied by NavInfo, MapKing, Here, LocalKing, as well as the free to use OpenStreetMap.

Baidu maps in China is highly detailed including 3D view of some cities. However its only available in the Chinese language, so its difficult to users outside of China or for foreign visitors.

BAIDU HAS PARTNERED WITH NEOLIX TO DELIVER FOOD AND SUPPLIES TO BEIJING HAIDAN HOSPITAL WITH THE APOLLO AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE.

Access to health care and resources at a moment’s notice is vital for battling the spread of the coronavirus. Autonomous vehicles are playing a useful role in providing access to necessary commodities for health-care professionals and the public alike by delivering goods in infected areas and disinfecting hospitals, effectively minimizing person-to-person transmission and alleviating the shortage of medical staff.

Apollo, Baidu’s autonomous vehicle platform, partnered with a local self-driving startup called Neolix to deliver supplies and food to the Beijing Haidian Hospital. With daily deliveries, this initiative is helping feed over 100 frontline staff members as they work to treat their growing patient base. Baidu Apollo has also made its low-speed driverless micro-car kits and autonomous driving cloud services available for free to companies dedicated to fighting the coronavirus.

 
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