Baidu is considered China’s Google thanks to the many similarities between the two companies, and just like the US version, the People’s Republic one also has automotive ambitions. But unlike Google, which funds the driverless transportation service Waymo to better understand self-driving vehicles, Baidu wants to build and sell cars, but not under its own name, but a new, purpose-built brand.
This new brand is called Jidu and we got a glimpse of its style and philosophy when it was announced a few months ago, but now we finally see its first production vehicle, the Robo-01. Well, almost a production vehicle, since Jidu says it’s about 90% representative of the finished product, so it’s basically the vehicle that will go into production in 2023.
Jidu refers to his first vehicle as a “robocar”, implying that it can operate without driver supervision. evolving technology). Apparently, the vehicle will also be able to show emotions when interacting with its occupants.
Xia Yiping, CEO of Jidu, said
The era of smart car 3.0 is the era of robocars. The transition to this new era is marked by the shift of driving power from humans to AI, with robocars eventually making self-generated AI-led advancements.
The JIDU robocar aims to meet users’ needs for smart travel, smart car assistance and smart cabin in the new era.
In terms of looks, the Robo-01 is quite futuristic, but it’s not particularly outlandish, straddling the line between crossovers and hatchbacks for body styling. The vehicle they showed didn’t have a B-pillar, and we’re guessing that, along with the regular non-hinged rear doors, will be among the production changes.
Inside, a massive widescreen that runs across the entire dash dominates the view. The vehicle has a retractable half steering wheel (not really a yoke in this case) which gives an unobstructed view of the screen, although even having a normal steering wheel wouldn’t have been a problem given the amount of screen it has.
Lidar is present on this vehicle, just like on many Chinese electric vehicles, which allows it to get a good 3D view of the road, but it only appears when needed, otherwise it remains hidden under the flaps of the hood. It also has radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 cameras to help it navigate its surroundings.