Baidu recently made several announcements at its annual world conference. The Chinese internet giant unveiled its its second-generation AI chip Kunlun 2, released a prototype “robocar” and rebranded its robotaxi app, Global Times reported.
The company said Kunlun2 has better computing power and can process huge amounts of data thus will find its application primarily in autonomous driving. With this the company also unveiled an autonomous vehicle with advance infotainment features and with scissor doors. However this a prototype and it is not clear when or whether it would be mass-produced.
Baidu apart from this has rebranded its robotaxi service which was active in Guangzhou and Beijing. The app which was formerly known as Apollo Go app is now called “Luobo Kuaipao”.
There are speculations that this is a step before the company expands this service and rolls out robotaxis on a mass scale. The speculations are backed by some recent initiatives by the company like partnership with state-owned automaker BAIC Group to build 1,000 driverless cars over the next three years, and testing of robotaxis in some Chinese cities.
Baidu’s push in recent years in automotive and semiconductor sector is seen as diversification of its business from advertising. It is known that other two of the “BAT trio”of Chinese technology companies ie Alibaba and Tencent are also making inroads into semiconductor industry.