The ARCFOX Apollo Moon; photo credit: Baidu
The said Apollo Moon vehicles are Baidu’s 5th generation of robotaxis, built on the premium EV brand ARCFOX’s vehicles. The said vehicles adopted the “ANP-Robotaxi” architecture, making it lightweight and capable of sharing intelligent driving vehicle data with other vehicles. A customized LiDAR and corresponding unmanned redundancy functions help to realize fully driverless autonomy.
According to the company, the production cost of the Apollo Moon powered ARCFOX vehicles is reduced to RMB 480,000 ($74,736), only one-third of the industry average.
As of now, the Apollo Moon lineup has expanded to three models, from EV brands ARCFOX, WM Motor, and GAC’s AION.
The Apollo Moon lineup; photo credit: Baidu
The vice president of Baidu, manager of Baidu’s autonomous driving technology department, Wang Yunpeng said, the first batch of the ARCFOX Apollo Moon fleet operating in Shougang consists of five vehicles for now and is expected to reach 100 vehicles by the end of the year country-wide. The WM and AION version of the robotaxis will be ready for service soon.
Currently, Baidu’s robotaxi fleet ride-hailing service, the Apollo Go, has served over 400,000 users in 5 cities. In the next three years, the company plans to expand its business to 30 cities domestically.
Moreover, the company also unveiled its new 5G Remote Driving for Enterprise, which expands the ability of the 5G cloud-based teleoperation technology to support unmanned vehicles in a single scenario to three.
The 5G Remote Driving solution can recognize abnormal traffic conditions such as road closures and request safety monitors to intervene remotely. The monitors will then assist the vehicle in navigating around these conditions safely and efficiently.
The original version of the solution has realized commercialization in several mining sites and crewless ports, storage, and logistic scenarios in China.