The deadline for the submission of the new year technologies and products from the automobile and tech giants has just passed, and this time it’s Jidu’s turn.
“Tonight there will be no best intelligent electric vehicle under 5 million or 500,000 yuan,” CEO Xia Yuping humorously referred to the automobile industry’s common expectation during the Jidu ROBO-01 limited edition launch event last year.
However, at the Guangzhou Auto Show on New Year’s Eve, Jidu brought us more cutting-edge products, automobile manufacturing concepts, and visions for the new year.
In contrast to the “luxurious decoration” of refrigerators and televisions on display at the booths of its competitors, Jidu remains the most technologically advanced and minimalist among the new forces in automobile manufacturing.
This is not only because Jidu has always referred to itself as an automobile robot start-up company, but also because the shocks it has given to automobile professionals have never ceased.
First, there was the metaverse product launch event that was ridiculed for being like a “cartoon” PowerPoint;
Then, the laser radar on the hood that could be raised and lowered was moved to the headlights in the production version for safety reasons;
The cool “scissor doors” design was also abandoned in the production version of the car.
At the beginning of the 2023 new year, let us review Jidu’s 2022.
Innovation is Jidu’s intelligent DNA
With the rapid development of electrification and intelligence, the automobile industry will transform from being dominated by the mechanical qualities of engines and gearboxes to being led by intelligent software and hardware.
Therefore, increasing investment in autonomous driving technology to achieve competitive advantages is not only the common wish of Baidu and Geely, but also the significance of Jidu’s entrepreneurial automobile manufacturing.
When Geely, a master of industry consolidation, combined its vehicle chassis architecture with Baidu Apollo to quickly establish a complete autonomous driving assistance system, Jidu successfully passed the first 22 months of the new automobile manufacturing field with the help of its powerful god-like protector.
But by 2023, Jidu will face the challenge of delivering mass-produced cars, after-sales services, energy supplement system, and user recognition, which are all the responsibilities that the founders cannot inherit. In the second half of the auto-making arena, Jidu really has to rely on itself.
Everyone understands that the overall increase in the penetration rate of electric vehicles is an irreversible process for the industry.
The penetration rate of new energy vehicles has increased from 5.8% in 2020 to 13.4% in 2021, reaching an amazing 25% in 2022, three years ahead of the goal of 25% penetration rate, almost doubling every year, and possibly reaching a proportion of 35% in the next year.
However, when Jidu entered the electric vehicle industry in 2021, the industry had not yet reached a level of fully white-hot competition. Baidu and Geely both believed that there was a lot of potential in the field of intelligence, and this is also why Jidu’s entry into the intelligent automotive industry was not too late.
If you want to play in intelligence, you need to play something different. Xia Yiping, the former head of the Asia-Pacific smart car networking division of Fiat Chrysler and co-founder and CTO of Mobike, is obviously a CEO who values technology. Intelligence and technology have also always been part of Jidu’s DNA.
In June 2022, Jidu’s concept car, the Car Robot, demonstrated a scissors-like door with an active variable structure.
The mass-produced car version unveiled at this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show features only:
U-shaped steering wheel, 3D borderless integrated ultra-clear large screen, zero-gravity seat, AI empathetic interactive pixel light, silent electric suction door, two Nvidia Orin X intelligent driving chips, Velodyne AT128 semi-solid-state lidar, and the world’s first intelligent cabin chip equipped with the fourth generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip…
The exterior door handles, physical buttons, and shift mechanism have all been removed.
Using the popular buzzwords of 2022, Jidu’s “car robot” is playing with something very new. Whether it is ROBO-01 or ROBO-02, the concept of building cars with “car robots” seems to be as new as Jidu’s founding time.
The advanced autonomous driving technology of “Three-domain Integration” is also the industry-leading software capability of Jidu. ROBO-01 will be equipped with the core function of the high-level intelligent driving system – Point to Point Autopilot (PPA).
Combining urban NOA and highway NOA, seamless switching between urban and highway, and integrating parking domain, when Jidu ROBO-01 is delivered, the available scene coverage of PPA will reach the domestic leading level.
Xia Yiping said in Guangzhou:
In the past five years, the long-term development of new energy vehicles has brought about a major change to the entire industry chain. Both upstream and downstream of the industry chain have begun to invest resources to fully support the rapid expansion of electrification.
We believe that the first wave of electrification has been done very well, and the three-electric technology can completely replace the driving experience of traditional engines and transmissions.
But the second wave is gradually moving from electrification to intelligentization. What you see on the entire car may only be screens, but in fact, Jidu’s cars are very different from many cars in overall architecture, underlying algorithms, software, and even hardware architecture.
The courage to be the firstIn the entire market, only 3%-5% of the cars can be considered as truly high-end intelligent vehicles. Therefore, Jidu is targeting the competition in the field of intelligence, while leaving the focus on television sets, refrigerators, and soft sofas to its fellow businesses.
But to say that it is new, it is not really new: the “car robot” ROBO-01 uses Baidu Apollo’s underlying data and Geely’s most advanced platform, the SEA Haohan architecture. It is worth noting that these two technologies have been around for quite some time.
At the forefront of intelligent driving assistance, Jidu is supported by Baidu Robotaxi’s 36 million kilometers of real-world test data. Despite Jidu’s independent research and development based on the underlying data of Baidu Apollo, ROBO-01 still has many functions that are similar to Robotaxi’s autonomous driving function.
Baidu’s supercomputer platform has also been established for 9 years. Standing on the shoulders of giants has given Jidu a significant advantage over other new brands.
Relying on the SEA Haohan architecture and a mature supply chain, Jidu has inherited Geely’s abilities in areas such as chassis, electrical systems, comfort, performance, and safety, ensuring that the overall hardware and R&D of the vehicle are guaranteed, and enabling Jidu to land quickly.
Moreover, Baidu’s accumulations in AI and autonomous driving assistance, including core capabilities in high-precision mapping, autonomous driving, perception, and voice, are all integrated into Jidu’s capabilities.
Finally, it is clear where Jidu’s confidence as a pioneer comes from.
Jidu, Ultimate Speed
Jidu’s development of automobile not only brings new ideas but also extreme speed, which is also due to the efficiency integration ability of this entrepreneurial team and the compatibility of Geely’s SEA Haohan architecture.
It is worth mentioning that the office space of Jidu’s entrepreneurial team, which was established in 2021, was only at Wework in Hongqiao, Shanghai, and has now grown from a team of over ten people to 2400 people.And Shanghai has been most affected by the impact of the epidemic in 2022. Despite many obstacles in the development process of JiDu, they have still managed to successfully launch new cars on both SUV and sedan platforms thanks to an excellent team and a calm and rational CEO.
The SEA Haohan architecture is equipped with the SEA OS intelligent vehicle development system which integrates hardware, system, and ecosystem layers. This has reduced software development cycle by 50%.
What’s more, SEA Haohan architecture proposes the “New Three Electric” concept of electric drive, electric management, and electric ecology. Its power battery has the longest lifespan, declining at a rate of no more than 20,000 kilometers under NEDC operating conditions and having a total lifespan of up to 2 million kilometers.
ROBO-01 is the first non-Geely brand vehicle to adopt Haohan architecture, and is positioned as a mid-to-large SUV. It uses the latest Baidu Apollo technology and is equipped with ROBOEYE, two remote 180° FOV lidars and camera sensors, providing full range detection of up to 360°. Its exterior design is sleek and integrated, eliminating door handles, spoilers, and protruding roof LiDAR.
Natural communication through voice commands ensures the best user experience, and minimizing physical buttons inside the car keeps it clean and efficient.
The ultra-wide display screen provides an immersive 3D HMI and entertainment experience, and integrates with the lift-up satellite speakers to create a movie surround-effect. The confidence in automatic driving capabilities has prompted ROBO-01 to adopt a space-inspired steering wheel, reducing driving operations while expanding forward visibility.
ROBO-01 lunar exploration limited edition sells for 399,800 yuan, with a limit of 2,000 units available for delivery in Q3 2023.
Compared with the limited edition, the ordinary version that appeared this time only lacks the moon exploration exclusive metal element, the exclusive car body color “Starry White”, the seat goose neck lamp, the “LUNAR EDITION” logo silk-screening, and the identification of the moon exploration logo.
However, four new body colors have been added: Starry Purple, Starry Gray, Starry Orange, and Starry White, named after the colors of four planets, maintaining a mysterious science fiction atmosphere.
With the endorsement of Geely, mechanical quality has not been absent on the ROBO-01. Based on the vast architecture, it adopts high-end car equipment front double-wishbone / rear multi-link independent aluminum suspension, shaping excellent mechanical skills.
In terms of power, the new car is equipped with a 100 kWh battery from CATL, with a maximum NEDC range of up to 600 kilometers. The dual motors have a maximum power of 400 kW, and the acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h is 3.9 seconds. The motor efficiency can reach 97%.
In terms of electronic control, SEA adopts silicon carbide electronic control modules to improve the performance and quality stability of the motor.
In terms of network construction, Jiudu’s first brand experience center has opened in Shanghai. It plans to enter 46 cities by 2023, set up 100 stores, preliminarily complete the layout of its sales network, and cooperate with third-party charging stations. Jiudu will also establish a part of its own charging stations to provide consumers with a complete experience.
At the 2022 Guangzhou Auto Show, Jiudu not only brought the ordinary version of the ROBO-01, but also debuted its second car model, the ROBO-02.
Anyone can brag about the prowess of their technology, but when it comes to actual implementation, there’s always a gradual process.
By boldly eliminating unnecessary external handles, airborne laser radar, and physical buttons, and investing a staggering 20 billion dollars to focus on autonomous driving assistance and in-car communication, Jidu (吉度) has shown both audacity and determination.
Therefore, Xia Yiping (夏一平) still believes that autonomous driving is the brightest gem in the human technology productivity revolution of the next 10 years, and all carmakers will eventually move in this direction.
When all carmakers are anxious about how to sell cars without big screens, refrigerators or queenly chairs, only Jidu has fearlessly taken a road less traveled, focusing on producing a car with a good user experience.
And when the day finally comes for two regent kings, Baidu and Geely, to support Jidu’s move towards mass production, it will also become the first participant in the intelligent electric vehicle race of 2023.
Whether it’s the double-barreled ROBO-01/02, the explosion of new stores, or the doubling of team size next year, Jidu’s ambition and determination, as well as speed and efficiency, are all on full display.
From the consumer’s point of view, we advocate competition. We wait and see whether Jidu’s entry will create new waves of intelligentization in the second half, just as Tesla and BYD did for electrification.# 这是一个 Markdown 文本示例
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This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.