One year after the introduction of the open source operation system for autonomous driving, Apollo, Baidu invited to an update to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. And a lot has happened. What can be noticed first is the extension of the software architecture, which now has new interface standards, supports new sensor hardware and allows to deliver turn key ready solutions for minibuses, valet parking and delivery robots.
A bunch of new sensors and vendors is supported as well;
And those are being heavily used. Here are minibuses by Chinese bus manufacturer King Long running with Apollo-software:
Or here delivery robots in all sizes and shapes:
According to Baidu safety aspects were a focus area. After the fatal crash of an experimental autonomous vehicles operated by Uber, this topic became much more prominent. Apollo even introduced a new safety module called Guardian to take care of that.
Baidu became also the first Chinese company to receive an ISO26262-certification for safety from TUEV Rheinland. In total the Apollo-code has grown to 200,000 lines of code.
Other novelties are pre-configured hardware units for sensors, extensions, and computation that shall accelerate development. Pre-orders can already be submitted.
Today the Apollo project has more than 110 partners, 90 projects, and 20 investments from the Apollo fund. And Udacity, the online university found by the Godfather of Self-Driving Cars – Sebastian Thrun, offers a free Apollo-Course.
Here are a couple of more impressions from test vehicles that were at the entrance to the event at the Computer History Museum.
More details can be found on this Baidu-blogpost.
This article has also been published in German.