Chinese internet giant Baidu has unveiled its second-generation AI-powered SoC, its first Robocar, and a renamed self-driving taxi app.
Baidu stressed that these new areas of technology are key to the company's future growth, which has focused its efforts on diversifying its business for several years. Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, tried to convince investors that the company's future lies in artificial intelligence and related fields such as self-driving.
The Kunlun 2 single-chip system is designed to help devices process massive amounts of data and increase processing power. Baidu says the SoC can be used in areas such as autonomous driving and that the platform is already in mass production. The first generation SoC Kunlun was released in 2018.
Baidu also announced the "robotic car" Robocar, an autonomous vehicle with doors that open like the Tesla Model X and a large screen inside for entertainment. This is a prototype, while the company did not say whether it will be mass-produced. Self-driving cars could be a multi-billion dollar business for the Chinese tech giant, analysts predict.
Baidu is also launching a robotic taxi service in select cities, including Guangzhou and Beijing, where users can call an autonomous taxi through the Apollo Go app in a limited area. On Wednesday, Baidu renamed the app Luobo Kuaipao as it is targeted at the mass deployment of robotic taxis.
The vice president of the Baidu smart driving group told CNBC that the company aims to bring mass commercial availability to select cities within two years.