Geely and Baidu have joined forces to launch the world’s first consumer electric vehicle (EV) equipped with full Level 4 autonomy. The futuristic autonomous EV, called the 01 ROBOCAR, features Baidu’s Apollo suite of autonomous driving solutions. This partnership between Geely, a multinational automotive manufacturer, and Baidu, a leading Chinese technology company, aims to bring AI-powered vehicles to the market.
The collaboration between Geely and Baidu began in January 2021 when Baidu announced its expansion into physical EV production. Geely, known for its automotive expertise, joined forces with Baidu to create the JIDU marque. The collaboration received significant funding, including $400 million in Series A funding led by Baidu in January 2022.
Under the JIDU brand, Geely and Baidu developed the ROBO-01 concept, which showcased advanced autonomous driving and human-machine interaction technologies. The 01 ROBOCAR, equipped with Baidu’s Apollo suite, is the first consumer vehicle to feature these cutting-edge autonomous driving solutions.
Geely recently increased its stake in JIDU and took on a larger role in the brand. With the formation of the JiYue marque, Geely now owns a majority stake of 65%, while Baidu retains a minority stake of 35%. JIDU continues to operate as a separate entity and technology facilitator for JiYue.
The 01 ROBOCAR boasts impressive features that will appeal to Chinese consumers. It is built on Geely’s popular Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) and offers two battery options with ranges of 550km (342 miles) and 720km (447 miles) CLTC. The EV can charge from 10% to 80% in under 30 minutes using a DC fast charger.
The powertrain of the 01 ROBOCAR comes in single and dual motor configurations, delivering power ranging from 200kW to 400kW. The EV can accelerate from 0-100km/hr (0-62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. It also utilizes Qualcomm’s 8295 intelligent vehicle cockpit chip, enabling advanced AI capabilities.
The 01 ROBOCAR supports voice-activated/controlled parking even when the user is outside the vehicle. Users can command the EV to utilize its AVP autonomous valet parking function, allowing it to park itself or pick up users from indoor or outdoor parking lots up to 2km away.
Equipped with NVIDIA DRIVE Orin autonomous drive chips and vision-centric intelligent drive architecture, the 01 ROBOCAR features 11 HD cameras, 12 ultrasonic radars, and 5-millimeter wave radars. These advanced technologies enable the EV’s ROBO Drive Max feature, which offers a monthly subscription model providing fully-autonomous navigation assistance and various autonomous driving capabilities.
JiYue claims that the 01 ROBOCAR’s autonomous capabilities cover 90% of China’s highways and three major cities: Hangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. The marque plans to expand its autonomous driving services to over 200 additional cities in China by 2024.
Deliveries of the 01 ROBOCAR will begin soon, although pricing details have not been disclosed yet. JiYue is also working on its second model, originally known as the ROBO-2, which was teased in December. With the launch of the 01 ROBOCAR, Geely and Baidu are paving the way for the mass adoption of autonomous electric vehicles in China.