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Auto, tech giants show their muscle at Shanghai car fair

Ding Yining
From intelligent cloud solutions to valet parking, China's auto and tech leaders are joining together for a brave new world on the road.
Ding Yining
Auto, tech giants show their muscle at Shanghai car fair

Domestic tech giants are flexing their muscles with their latest autonomous driving offerings and technologies at this year's Shanghai auto show as innovation became one of the highlights at the exhibition.

Senior Corporate Vice President of Baidu and General Manager of Baidu's Intelligent Driving Group Li Zhenyu expects to release at least six new models with Baidu's open source driverless operating platform Apollo in the second half this year.

The Apollo Navigation Pilot will cover 20 domestic cities by the end of this year, Li said at Auto Shanghai 2021 as the company pushes up commercialization efforts.

He expects the system to be pre-installed on 1 million vehicles over the next three to five years.

Baidu's Apollo Automated Valet Parking embedded in the Weltmeister W6 model was showcased at the Auto Shanghai which started on Monday.  

It also unveiled intelligent cloud solutions to help developers and autonomous vehicle manufacturers enhance production process, their understanding of users, and car security.

Ride-hailing platform DiDi also announced its latest partnership on Monday — with Volvo to expand its test-driving fleet based on its self-driving hardware platform.

Volvo will provide DiDi with its XC90 models which are equipped with necessary backup systems for functions such as steering and braking.

Volvo's XC90 will be the first model to integrate with DiDi Autonomous Driving's new  hardware platform and will be used for ride-hailing on DiDi’s network.

DiDi used Volvo's XC60s in Shanghai’s first pilot robotaxi program last year, when DiDi trips could be booked with the ride being monitored by a safety driver and engineer.

The built-in backup systems and safety features on the XC90s will be combined with DiDi Autonomous Driving’s self-driving system to allow the cars to operate without safety drivers in robotaxi services.

Volvo and DiDi Autonomous Driving seek to build a long-term partnership as DiDi continues to expand its autonomous test fleets in China and the US to scale up its commercial robotaxi operations.

"We believe shared, electric and autonomous vehicle networks will be crucial for future urban transport systems to achieve the highest safety and sustainability standards,” said Bob Zhang, CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving and Chief Technology Officer of Didi Chuxing.

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