Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 17
cellular methods today, and 5G technology
will further enhance the speed and lower
the latency in which these critical messages
can be transmitted.
In May, the same month in which Baidu
started China's first paid AV ride-hailing
Tsinghua University to establish an institute
for AI Industry Research devoted
to exploring 5G-enabled V2X for Level 4
" Apollo Air [V2X technology] enables a
that come with how different governments
and states are looking into connected infrastructure.
This is a really important part of
the game. "
Baidu, perhaps as much as any company
in China, shows how that game plays
out on the road.
HOW IT WORKS
An ambulance roared through a
crowded Beijing intersection. Blocked by
a truck on its left and other traffic, a Baidu
robotaxi approaching the same intersection
did not detect the emergency vehicle
until the last moment.
The situation resulted in nothing more
than a hard-braking incident.
In a simulated re-creation of the episode,
the vehicle incorporates V2X information
from infrastructure into its path
planning. As the ambulance approaches,
the robotaxi methodically slows down and
allows it to pass.
It's a matter of both safety and passenger
comfort, says Baidu spokesperson
Tony Peng, and it shows how important
beyond-line-of-sight information provided
by roadside sensing can be, along with the
more-established sensors such as lidar,
radar and cameras.
Baidu has integrated V2X into its plans.
Currently, it uses V2X capability in 56
intersections in Shanghai, 28 intersections
in Beijing and several more in Guangzhou.
Roadside sensing equipment at each
typical intersection consists of two lidar
units, four fish-eye cameras and eight
This information is transmitted via
high degree of coordination between sensor-less
vehicles, smart roads and data
clouds through a series of miniature roadside
sensors with 5G and V2X wireless
technology, " wrote Ji Tao, general manager
of intelligent transportation product
deployment at Baidu.
" China presents an ideal
scenario. It's good at
pushing a new era of
infrastructure that's techdriven,
including 5G and AI,
charging stations and smart
Tony Peng, Baidu
In terms of operations, Baidu says it has
seen immediate benefits from its autonomous
operations that use cellular V2X.
The time robotaxis spend stuck in congestion
has been reduced by 30 percent.
Interventions and disengagements have
decreased by 62 percent.
From a safety perspective, on-board
sensors can result only in a certain level
of improvements before they plateau. To
achieve Vision Zero goals of truly eliminating
all deaths, Peng says, roadside sensors
must be included.
For robotaxi companies, there may be
financial advantages to including roadside
sensing. Baidu's fifth-generation robotaxis
cost approximately $75,000, and
the on-board sensors constitute about a
third of that cost. Roadside sensing may
offer a chance to essentially offload the
cost of some sensors from on board the
vehicle to the infrastructure itself.
the company partnered with
" China presents an ideal scenario, "
Peng said. " It's good at pushing a new era
of infrastructure that's tech-driven, including
5G and AI, charging stations and smart
While the U.S. Congress negotiates
the final details of President Joe Biden's
infrastructure proposal, China finalized an
infrastructure blueprint long ago.
In 2013, the country implemented its
" Made in China 2025 " plan that aspired
to make China a leader in focus areas that
include advanced manufacturing, artificial
intelligence, robotics and automation.
Two years later, China's leaders identified
5G as another key technology in which
they sought leadership, and they honed
plans to research 5G networks and usher
in 5G technology. Commercialization, not
just research, has always been a key goal.
" China wasn't necessarily a leader in 3G
or 4G, but the lead they think they can seize
in 5G is a function of getting real-world
applications quicker, and that's where
the automotive piece of this is incredibly
interesting, " Picarsic said. " China has proliferated
experimentation through a host
of pilot projects and pilot cities for autonomy
and AV use cases. With a built-out 5G
ecosystem, they're likely to get ahead of
the United States and the Western world
in terms of rolling out 'smart city' ecosystems
that position China for more-rapid
deployment of AV technology. "
China has installed more than 500,000
base stations that support 5G, according
to Counterpoint Research, and the consulting
firm estimates the country's top
three telecom operators - China Mobile,
China Unicom and China Telecom - will
invest approximately $184 billion in 5G
networks by 2025.
Counterpoint projects that 25 percent
of vehicles sold in 2025 worldwide will
include embedded 5G connectivity. The
firm says the " majority " of those will be
sold in China.
For autonomous vehicles in particular,
5G offers not just convenience connectivity,
but - at least in its current state - an
approach to operations in China that's distinct
from the rest of the world. n
august 2021 * shift 17
Shift Magazine - August 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shift Magazine - August 2021
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover1
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover2
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Contents
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 4
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 5
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 6
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 7
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 8
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 9
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 10
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 11
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 12
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 13
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 14
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 15
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 16
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 17
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 18
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 19
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 20
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 21
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 22
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 23
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 24
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 25
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - 26
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover3
Shift Magazine - August 2021 - Cover4