Shanghai (Gasgoo)- The world's first mass-produced L4 autonomous mini bus “Apolong” developed by Baidu Apollo in collaboration with King Long has already rolled off the production line at its manufacturing facility in Xiamen, Baidu's chairman Robin Li, announced at Baidu Create 2018 on July 4.
Baidu announced that the mass-produced buses will be sent to several cities in China for commercial operation, including Beijing, Xiongan New Area, Shenzhen, Pingtan and Wuhan, etc. Besides, it has joined hands with King Long and SB Drive, the autonomous driving subsidiary of Japan's SoftBank Group, to export Apolong autonomous mini buses to Japan in early 2019. Reportedly, the Apolong buses will be used as shuttles in Japan to serve staff from nuclear power station and senior citizen community.
Reportedly, the Apolong is China's first self-driving microcirculation bus, which made its first debut at Baidu World Conference in November last year. Without steering wheel, driver's seats, accelerator and pedal, the vehicle measures 4.3 meters in length and 2 meters in width with a capacity of 14 people. The Apolong bus is driven by electric power system that allows a 100km-trip with 2-hour charging.
The Apolong, equipped with Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving system, can realize autonomous driving operations such as obstacle avoidance, swerve and automatic transshipment. It will initially be put into use in some last-mile travelling scenarios, such as tourist spots, airports and other enclosed areas.
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