Baidu opened Baidu Create 2021 on 27 December, the first day of a three-day annual flagship developers’ conference on its metaverse app XiRang. The event was also China’s first-ever metaverse technology symposium.
Dubbed the “Land of Hope”, the XiRang platform enables up to 100,000 online attendees to interact simultaneously in the same space.
According to Robin Li, Baidu CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder, intelligent transportation will see a significant transformation in the next 10-40 years that will greatly influence the future.
Purchase restrictions limiting the number of cars sold in China’s first-tier cities, and number plate restrictions reducing by 20% the number of cars on the roads on weekdays will be lifted within five years and improved traffic efficiency will solve urban congestion within 10 years.
Li believes that intelligent transportation can address three major problems: Firstly, it can reduce road traffic accidents by 90%. Secondly, the problem of urban congestion can be resolved. Lastly, autonomous driving and intelligent transportation will help reduce carbon emissions.
From autonomous driving to smart cars and smart roads, Baidu has deeply integrated AI, 5G, and cloud computing into the transportation sector.
With a total of 115,000 rides provided by the third quarter of 2021, Baidu’s autonomous ride-hailing platform “Apollo Go” has become the largest autonomous mobility service provider in the world.
Baidu’s future goal is to expand the “Apollo Go” service to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.
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Baidu AIR intelligent road system will achieve real-time optimization of “city-level” signal control at hundreds of thousands of road intersections, greatly enhancing vehicle safety over millions of kilometers across the country.
Baidu believes that automotive robots will be the ultimate form of vehicle transportation in the future. Having L4 intelligent driving capabilities, Baidu’s smart EV venture, Jidu Auto, has been designed to operate under the concepts of “free movement”, “natural communication”, and “self-improvement”.
Li said that Jidu is planning to release its first concept car in the first half of 2022, followed by mass production and delivery by 2023.
At the convention, Baidu Chief Technology Officer Haifeng Wang released Baidu AI Cloud digital avatar platform XiLing, which is a platform level product integrating digital avatar generation and content production.
It can provide creation and operation one-stop services such as virtual host, virtual idol, brand spokesperson creation and operation for radio, television, Internet, brand and other customers.
Apart from providing an “AI toolkit” to creators, Baidu Brain also provides the technological foundation for digital transformation in society and many industries. Baidu Brain’s approach relies on standardization, automation, and modularization for industrial mass production, which allows it to evolve into an AI mass production platform.
“Wenxin”, Baidu Brain’s recently-released technological breakthrough, is the world’s first knowledge-enhanced 100-billion-scale pre-trained language model and the largest Chinese-language monolithic model.
Baidu’s open-source deep-learning platform PaddlePaddle has garnered 4.06 million developers, served more than 157,000 enterprises and units, covered dozens of industries, and created almost 500,000 models. PaddlePaddle’s combined market share ranks first among China’s deep-learning platforms.
Computing power is one of the core elements to support AI development. Baidu created the base for green computing, including self-developed Kunlun AI chips, an AI heterogeneous computing platform Baige, and a green data center to support AI technology research and a wide range of applications.
Baidu Brain can support across 1,400 capabilities. Baidu AI Cloud can distribute the AI technology capabilities to various industries, contributing to digital transformation and intelligent enhancement of China’s industries, economy, and society.