Baidu announced that its first global mass-produced autonomous driving computing platform—Apollo Computing Unit (ACU)— rolled off the production line during a ceremony at Baidu’s partner Flex’s Suzhou plant. The ACU will be first applied in Apollo Valet Parking product jointly developed by Baidu and Shanghai-based WM Motor. It will also make WM Motor the first carmaker with the mass production of AVP solution.
“The launch of the ACU indicates that Baidu made a significant improvement in automotive-grade safety, the commercialization of autonomous driving, and the software and hardware supply chain management,” said Wang Yunpeng, general manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Department, adding that “Baidu and Flex will form an effective technology alliance and bring each one’s advantages and strength in resources and technologies.”
The Chinese search giant inked a strategic partnership agreement with Flex in June 2018 to jointly develop solutions for comprehensive, systematic and reliable solutions for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity and intelligent traffic. Flex leveraged its R&C experience in L4 Robotaxi project and professional knowledge and offered Baidu specific solutions of hardware, diagnostic software development, and industrial design, thermal management structure design, testing and verification, integration and optimization of supply chain, production line design, and the scale manufacturing based on Bai Apollo experts’ suggestions and architecture demands.
The R&D and design of ACU comes from XILINX’s core processing chips, semiconductor company Infineon’s automotive safety control processor, AUTOSAE system provider Vector’s underlying software operating system, Real-Time Innovations (RTI)’s end-of-car systems and communication services among different modules, and Swiss Re’s insurance services.