In China, self-drive buses enter mass production

In China, self-drive buses enter mass production

Arslan KEMALOV

At the annual technology conference Baidu Create 2018, one of China’s biggest technology companies Baidu has declared it has begun mass production of a self-driving bus.

The innovative type of transport, which is named Apolong, can seat up to 14 people. It has no driver’s seat, steering wheel or pedals. To drive vehicles will have autopilot. The bus is fully automated.

Apolong will be delivered to Beijing and other large cities of China to begin commercial operations later.

Recently, Baidu has already released the first batch of 100 unmanned buses. Apolong, co-developed with Chinese bus manufacturer King Long, is outfitted with Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving system capable of Level 4 operations. Level 4 autonomous driving, as defined by the automotive engineering association SAE International means that the vehicle takes over completely in certain conditions. The bus can gather speed, brake, rotate, turn on signals and change the traffic lanes independently, without human intervention, by assistance of built-in laser and wave radars, as well as HDR and stereo cameras.

At the conference, it was announced also, that Baidu intends to enter the global market, and Japan will be the first country to import new mini-buses.