Baidu Releases Software to Enable Autonomous Parking in Certain Situations

Baidu is launching the software and hardware combined Valet Parking System jointly with WM Motor, a pioneering company in autonomous driving.

Author: Binwei Wang   

Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), released its new autonomous Valet Parking software and hardware solution together with its partner WM Motor at CES Asia on Tuesday, sending its shares up more than 3 percent to $115.37 apiece.

WM Motor said the autonomous parking solution was jointly developed with Baidu to perform autonomous parking in certain situations. According to Baudi, the Valet Parking feature is mainly intended for personal cars and those used in car-sharing services.

Self-driving cars equipped with Valet Parking can perform remote pick-up or return, permanent parking, low-speed autonomous driving, and automatic EV charging at a certain locations using a mobile device. The valet parking feature can enhance the travel experience of private car owners and ride-share customers.

In addition, WM Motor displayed the ACU-ADV, an onboard computing platform that powers the Valet Parking hardware and software.

ACU is an acronym for "Apollo Computing Units", a reference to Baidu's Apollo open autonomous driving platform being developing with over 100 industry partners including Chinese automakers BYD, FAW Group, Byton and BAIC Motor.

This computing platform can increase the AI acceleration, performing 1.35 TOPS (1.35 trillion operations per second).  The processor fuses sensor data from 8 camera feeds, 12-channels of ultrasonic radar, lidar and millimeter-wave radar interfaces.

The processor can withstand operating temperatures from -40 °F to 185°F, and is rated with a functional safety level of ASIL-D, which is the highest integrity requirements.

China's internet search engine and WM Motor jointly established the "Intelligent Vehicle Global Joint Technology Research & Development Center" in January to carry out research and development of automated driving technology and the mass production of level 3 and 4 autonomous vehicles.

China is looking to take the global lead in realizing the mass-adoption of autonomous driving technology and electrification.

The research and development of the center focuses on ApolloPilot software services, hardware scheme of onboard computing platform, high-precision mapping and GPS, simulation service, safety service, and OTA updates.

The company said the level-3 level self-driving solution will be used directly in the WM Motor's models and plans to start mass production in 2021.

The autonomous valet parking feature is similar to the summon feature introduced by Tesla.