Baidu introduces DuerOS and driverless car platform Apollo

Baidu group president Lu Qi introducing Apollo. Photo from Baidu

China’s search engine giant Baidu, which claims itself as an AI company, introduced its voice interaction system DuerOS and driverless car open platform Apollo 1.0 on Wednesday at its first AI developers conference Baidu Create 2017 in Beijing.

Baidu Duer Business Unit general manager Jing Kun introducing DuerOS. Photo from Baidu

Similar to Amazon’s Alexa, DuerOS allows users to interact with gadgets through voice recognition. It can help users manage calendars, inquire about the weather, search for the best restaurants, and so on. HTC’s new flagship smartphone HTC U11 is among the first products to be powered by DuerOS.

Baidu announced that it bought Seattle-based AI startup KITT.AI to strengthen DuerOS’ natural language processing ability.

Two models of Apollo-powered driverless cars. Photo by Alex Liao/AllTechAsia

As compared to DuerOS, Baidu’s driverless car platform Apollo attracted more attention.

Previously introduced in April this year, Apollo aims to enable developers to build their own auto driving systems with the help of Baidu’s software, hardware and services.

Lu Qi, Baidu group president and COO, announced that Baidu will open Apollo 1.0 to all developers to enable them to develop entry level driverless cars that can only run in a closed area.

Lu claims that Apollo has been working with over 50 partners to develop driverless cars including China car manufacturer Chery. He also said that Baidu will set up Apollo companies in Singapore and the United States.

“I hope that China will lead the global driverless car industry in three to five years,” said Lu at the conference. “Apollo will help China to achieve this goal.”

(Top photo from Baidu)

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