President, Baidu Inc.
"Advances in Autonomous Driving"
The automotive and transportation industry is going through a tectonic shift in the next decade with the advent of Connectivity, Automation, Sharing, and Electrification (CASE). Autonomous driving presents a historical opportunity to transform the academic, technological, and industrial landscape with advanced sensing and actuation, high definition mapping, new machine learning algorithms, smart planning and control, increasing computing powers, and new infrastructure with 5G, cloud and edge computing. Indeed, we have witnessed unprecedented innovation and activities in the past five years in R&D, investment, joint ventures, road tests and commercial trials, from auto makers, tier-ones, and new forces from the internet and high-tech industries.
Baidu has been in the frontier of this transformation with its leadership in AI and search technology, cloud and mega-scale computing infrastructure and data centers, high definition mapping and big data capabilities, and first commercial trials. More importantly, Baidu spearheaded Apollo in 2017 with an open, inclusive, and collaborative approach to solve the most challenging and complex problem in our industry. Apollo has since become the largest and most vibrant commercial platform and ecosystem in the world with over 130 global partners and tens of thousands of developers.
In this talk, I will speak about this historical opportunity and challenges from technological, industrial and policy perspectives. I will address some of the core controversial and critical issues in the advancement of autonomous driving: open vs closed, Lidar vs cameras, progressive L2-L3-L4 vs new L4, autonomous capabilities vs V2X, Robotaxi vs vertical, China vs global, automakers vs new players, and the evolutional path and end game.
Ya-Qin Zhang currently serves as president, in charge of intelligent driving and other emerging businesses, and plans to retire in October 2019 after five years with the company. In the past five years, he has served in different capacities including autonomous driving, cloud computing, technology infrastructure, and international business. Dr. Zhang was a corporate vice president of Microsoft, Chairman of its Asia-Pacific R&D, Mobile and embedded products and Managing Director of Microsoft Asia for over 15 years. He has published over 500 papers and 11 books with 60 granted US patents. Ya-Qin Zhang currently serves on the board of directors of Chinasoft International Ltd (HKEX: 354), AsiaInfo Technologies Ltd (HKEX: 1675), and Tarena International, Inc. (NASDAQ: TEDU). Dr. Zhang is inducted into the fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), the Australia Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Zhang received his bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from George Washington University.