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Baidu's Apollo 3.0 AI platform used in mass production of self-driving mini bus

Baidu also releases its self-designed AI chip Kunlun which is undergoing test manufacturing process .

Baidu released its latest Apollo 3.0 artificial intelligence platform to help mass produce self-driving vehicles commercially at the Baidu Create 2018 AI Developer Conference in Beijing today. 

"It marks the first year of commercialization for autonomous driving, and this is just the beginning for the evolution of driverless vehicles," Baidu founder and Chairman Robin Li said in his keynote speech. "We will continue our efforts to allow our open platform of data and algorithm to be accessible for developers around the world."

The first L4 autonomous mini bus equipped with Baidu's Apollo AI platform is being mass produced at Fujian-headquartered King Long United Automotive Industry Co Ltd. 

The L4 level automated driving technology is the second highest level for driverless vehicles which can operate without human oversight under selected road conditions or geographic environment. 

The King Long buses have neither pedals nor steering wheels and the first batch of 100 vehicles equipped with Baidu's  Apollo will soon be deployed commercially in Beijing, Xiongan, Shenzhen, Pingtan and Tokyo later this year or early 2019.  

Baidu also joined Google, Nvidia and Alibaba in releasing self-developed integrated circuits for the AI industry.  

Baidu's Kunlun AI chip is now in the test manufacturing process or "taping out" phase. The company will seek collaboration with industry players and target applications in smart devices, audio and graphic recognition. 

New energy vehicle company BYD has also sealed a strategic partnership with Baidu on smart vehicles' production and operations. BYD founder Wang Chuanfu said the auto industry is increasingly embracing open partnership with industry players to drive innovation. 

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