Intel’s computer vision subsidiary Mobileye has joined Baidu’s Apollo ecosystem, in a move that will see the Chinese technology giant and its partners adopt Mobileye’s Responsibility, Sensitive Safety (RSS) model into their autonomous vehicle programmes.
Apollo is Baidu’s “open, secure and reliable self-driving ecosystem”. Its aim is to assist members in the autonomous driving industry, and help push their systems to market. Since launching in 2017, Apollo has grown to include almost 120 partners worldwide.
Mobileye’s RSS model
Intel acquired Mobileye in a $15.3 billion deal last year. The move followed a range of investments in the autonomous vehicle and computer vision spaces, including Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec, and Movidius, the California startup whose technology is the foundation of the collision-avoidance systems in DJI drones.
Mobileye’s RSS model is a formalised approach to developing driverless systems, which aims to mimic human judgement by applying mathematical definitions to road variables.
RSS defines what constitutes a dangerous situation, what caused it, and what the proper response to it should be. With the system in place, the theory is that autonomous vehicles should actively avoid causing those dangerous situations, but will still be able to respond to them appropriately.
Weihao Gu, general manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Unit, said, “Our team recognises the value and critical role that Mobileye’s RSS model plays in safely deploying autonomous driving. Project Apollo will integrate RSS to successfully enable safe driving today, and drive further autonomous research on China’s roadways.”
Mobileye’s RSS formulas will be integrated into the existing safety model of Baidu’s Apollo Pilot – Baidu’s own deployment version of Project Apollo, which is currently under development for a number of Chinese vehicle manufacturers.
Internet of Business says
Given recent concerns over the effectiveness of the safety systems built into autonomous vehicles, Baidu should be commended for looking further afield for expert partners.
This open approach to developing driverless technology is what separates the company from several of its competitors.
Baidu has already proclaimed its ambition to make its Apollo project the “Android operating system for autonomous vehicles”. Part of that journey is opening the floor to partners and developing an ecosystem that includes computer vision companies, technology giants, and car manufacturers.
Since the turn of the year, Baidu has set out to compete with Alibaba on driverless food deliveries and taken autonomous vehicles to the road with Jaguar Land Rover.
In Bejing this week, the company unveiled Apollo 3.0, along with software upgrades for valet parking, micro-cars, and driverless ‘Apolong’ mini-buses, developed in partnership with Chinese bus maker, King Long.
Whether its international programmes risk being damaged by the potential multibillion trade war between the US and China – which may extend into the EU and beyond – is unknown at this point. For more on this, see our in-depth report.