Baidu announced $1.52 billion for autonomous vehicle

Baidu Inc. announced funding for an autonomous vehicle project of 10 billion yuan (US$1.52 billion). The Apollo Fund will be used for 100 self-driving vehicle projects over the next three years. The fund launch coincided with the launch of the second generation open-source Apollo 1.5 software designed for vehicle automation platforms.

Tinuku Baidu announced $1.52 billion for autonomous vehicle

Baidu in April unlocked autonomous vehicle technology to third parties as a step to accelerate development and help compete with other global players. The partners can access additional technology is the latest imaging and high definition maps.

The Apollo project aims to create technology for a truly autonomous car. The project already has 70 partners in several fields in the automotive industry, including Nvidia, TomTom NV, Microsoft and Hyundai Motor. Baidu is planning their autonomous vehicles to cross the streets of China by 2020.

Apollo 1.0 and Apollo 1.5 have five additional core capabilities, including obstacle perception, planning, cloud simulation, High-Definition (HD) maps and End-to-End depth learning. The latest version is more comprehensive for developers and ecosystem partners.

Over the past two months, Apollo has been doing dozens of code updates every week and adding more than 65,000 lines of new code. More than 1,300 companies have downloaded the code and nearly 100 companies have applied to open the data through the Apollo website.