Jidu Robo-01 EV Coming In 2023 With Level 4 Autonomy And A $30k Price Tag


A few months after the official teasers, Chinese company Jidu unveiled its first concept: the Robo-01. The fully electric SUV was developed by tech-giant Baidu and will be produced by Geely, aiming to bring Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities to the market. The concept is previewing a production model that will follow in 2023, keeping 90 percent of the design.

The Robo-01 was shown in a special event hosted in the metaverse prior to its physical debut at the 2022 Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Visually, it has an aerodynamic shape with plenty of curves and a premium design. Jidu showed three available colors called Star Porcelain White, Nebula Gray, and Galaxy Purple, all combined with a set of cool-looking black aero-shield wheels. The high-tech LED lights have AI digital pixel technology, communicating different signals with the world like a thumbs up.

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The car combines front scissor doors with rear suicide doors, providing easy access to the cabin. Inside, the Jidu Robo-01 sports a wide high-definition screen on the dashboard, mirror-replacing cameras, a retractable yoke-style steering wheel that folds when not needed, a futuristic center tunnel with touch-sensitive areas, and four individual seats. As reported by Car News China, the EV comes equipped with DuerOS artificial intelligence software, while the hardware comprises an NVIDIA Orin X chip and a Qualcomm 8295 processor.

More importantly, two Lidars pop up from the two sides of the bonnet, with each one integrating 128 lasers giving it up to 200 m (656 feet) of range. Those will be combined with twelve cameras, twelve ultrasonic radars and five millimeter-wave radars continuously scanning the surrounding area.

At the moment, the highest level of autonomy in the market is Level 3 by Mercedes-Benz, so it is a big deal for a Chinese automaker to introduce Level 4, inching closer to a fully autonomous vehicle (Level 5). In reality, the Jidu Robo-01 will be able to drive itself most of the time, with the driver supervising. Xia Yiping, CEO of Jidu, said that in the new era of automobiles, the “driving rights” will be transferred from humans to artificial intelligence.

Jidu hasn’t given us the details about the SUV’s electric powertrain, but we guess we will learn more as we get closer to the concept’s debut in Guangzhou. Production of the Robo-01 is set to commence in 2023 by Geely, shortly followed by the first deliveries of the model in China. The model will be priced close to ¥200,000 which is roughly $30,000, making it rather cheap for the technology it carries. Jidu’s first EV will be joined by a second production model launching in the market in 2024.

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