January 2018, Las Vegas, the US, here begins the annual fest for science and technology.
In a parking lot not far from the venue, a crimson car caught everyone’s attention. Several Asians who stood by the car were giving an introduction to those who were attracted by the car. With cameras and sensors, this car can’t be low-profiled just from its appearance. For those tech-junkies who travel all over the world and have the most acute sense of technology, this remarkable scene cannot be missed.
This is a modified driverless car. It comes from a Silicon Valley innovation company, Plus Ai, also known as wisdom plus in Chinese. Since the beginning of 2018, it has obtained a California autonomous driving test license (Uber is also licensed on the same day), and this test vehicle has traveled nearly 10,000 kilometers on public roads and highways.
For this year’s CES, PlusAI’s test car made a special journey from the Bay Area to Las Vegas, a distance that’s more than 850 kilometers, most of which (more than 99%) were completed by autonomous driving at a high speed. It’s worth mentioning that during the period, the maximum speed on the expressway reached 120-130 km/h, which is one of the fastest autonomous driving at present, plus with an excellence driving experience. In contrast, the vast majority of autonomous driving test are still displayed at low speed within closed areas and sometimes even at the static exhibitions halls. PlusAI’s pioneering initiative indicates that we are getting very close on the road to mass production of driverless vehicles and the full realization of autonomous driving.
Made-in-China Reveals its Power in Autonomous Driving
At present, unmanned driving has become a new round of domestic and international competition for scientific and technological innovation and industrial development. Entering the wishful period before the industry becomes oversaturated, the market is having a large number of new technologies, new products, and new services. Unmanned driving technology is progressing towards artificial intelligence, network integration, on-board operating systems, new automotive electronics, telematics, service platforms, and security, all of which have become the new research. A brand-new eco-system for industrial development is about to be built.
Founded in Silicon Valley, PlusAI has a strong “Chinese lineage.” The founder team is mostly Chinese, including a member of the “Thousand People Project” selected by the government and former executives of Yahoo, Tenent, Bosch, HERE Map, and Velodyne. In addition to the United States, there are also PlusAI R&D personnel in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an. This company combines the innovative culture and technological environment of Silicon Valley, along with the powerful momentum of China’s market. It has also assembled the world’s top experts in artificial intelligence and deep learning. PlusAI is committed to transforming the industry through self-researching technology and seeking breakthroughs through cooperation. It provides customers and various industries with cost-efficient and compatible artificial intelligence products.
Back in the test car, PlusAI’s technicians said that this car is equipped with L3 level of autonomous driving capability. The company is currently committed to expanding the application of this solution, reducing costs, and preparing for mass production. On the other hand, the company is implementing precision mapping, deep learning perception, path planning and control. The future we are looking forward to is getting closer and closer.
Plus AI wants to do more than just inventing technology, but also it hopes to promote the application of autonomous/unmanned driving in different scenarios through a set of solution that can be immediately applied and commercialized. At present, PlusAI has launched a self-developed smart sensor product that provides a robust, secure and stable L2-L3 technology/product integration solution for different smart driving scenarios and OEMs. It also has outstanding advantages in terms of cost/performance indicators and commercialization. At the same time, PlusAI has the PlusPilot, a proprietary smart driving system that rivals with top-of-the-range solutions in the market for L3 level autopilot.
Agriculture and logistics will be benefited first
Unlike many companies that focus solely on autonomous driving for passenger vehicles, PlusAI spotted the great potential for the application of autonomous driving in industrial automation and smart logistics. Dr. Liu Wanqian, CEO of the founder of the company, once said: “As a startup company, PlusAI hopes to be able to undertake what industrial tycoons need to do, to promote the vertical application of artificial intelligence and to accelerate the improvement of industrial efficiency.”
Through cooperation with domestic leading R&D and both machinery and agricultural manufacturing companies, PlusAI has successfully applied autonomous driving technology to agricultural machinery, effectively improve its performance, reduce the overall cost, and enhance its efficiency.
Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the “Three-Year Action Plan for the Promotion of the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry Development (2018-2020).” It’s required that by 2020, a reliable, safe, and real-time intelligent network-linked automobile platform will be established to support high-level autonomous driving (HA level)
The future has come, perhaps we will soon see the driverless car sprinting on the city’s ring road, autonomous agricultural machinery working in the field, or self-driving trucks to transport goods between cities. I’m very looking forward to this, and how about you?