Baidu unveiled on 21 July 2022 its next-generation fully autonomous vehicle (AV) Apollo RT6, an all-electric, production-ready model with a detachable steering wheel. Designed for complex urban environments, Apollo RT6 will be put into operation in China in 2023 on Apollo Go, Baidu’s autonomous ride-hailing service.
With a per unit cost of RMB 250,000 (about $37,000), the arrival of Apollo RT6 is set to accelerate AV deployment at scale, bringing the world closer to a future of driverless shared mobility.
Baidu Apollo RT6’s steering wheel-free design unleashes more space to craft unique interiors, allowing for the installation of extra seating, vending machines, desktops, or gaming consoles.
At 4760mm long with a wheelbase of 2830mm, the rider-first Apollo RT6 delivers comfort with independent rear seating, ample rear legroom of 1050mm, a flat floor, and an intelligent interaction system.
The Apollo RT6 exterior features a revolutionary look that seamlessly integrates sensors on the sunroof alongside interactive lights and intelligent electric sliding doors to enhance the riding experience further.
Apollo RT6 integrates Baidu’s most advanced L4 autonomous driving system, powered by automotive-grade dual computing units with a computing power of up to 1200 TOPS.
The vehicle utilizes 38 sensors, including 8 LiDARs and 12 cameras, to obtain highly accurate, long-range detection on all sides. The safety and reliability of Apollo RT6 are backed by a massive trove of real-world data, a total test mileage of over 32 million kilometers (~20 million miles) driven by Baidu’s AV to date.
Speaking at Baidu World 2022, Zhenyu Li, senior corporate vice president of Baidu and general manager of Intelligent Driving Group (IDG), said the autonomous driving capability of Apollo RT6 is equivalent to a skilled driver with 20 years of experience.
Apollo RT6 is the first vehicle model built on Xinghe, Baidu’s self-developed automotive E/E architecture for fully autonomous driving. The vehicle is 100% automotive-grade and has full redundancy throughout the hardware and autonomous driving software.
Apollo Go has expanded to 10 cities in China since its launch in 2020, including all first-tier cities, and provided more than 1 million orders.