Baidu is hoping that by establishing an open source ecosystem rather than a closed garden will accelerate development making China the leader in autonomous driving in three to five years.
“China is very much about one solution in general. Think of WeChat – there’s one solution. Didi – one solution,” Lei Ma, a senior product manager of autonomous driving at Baidu told TechNode during July’s launch. “We’re hoping that Apollo becomes that one solution for autonomy.”
Since its launch, more than 1,300 companies have downloaded Apollo’s code and nearly 100 companies have applied for open data via the Apollo website, according to the company’s statement issued on Wednesday.
“Building on Apollo 1.0, Apollo 1.5 opens up five additional core capabilities which include obstacle perception, planning, cloud simulation, High-Definition (HD) maps and End-to-End deep learning, providing more comprehensive solutions to developers and ecosystem partners to accelerate the deployment of autonomous driving,” Baidu explained in its statement.
Baidu has also announced RMB 10 million ($1.5 billion) Apollo Fund which will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects in the next three years.