On May 18, Beijing time, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) released its unaudited financial report for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. In the first quarter, Baidu achieved revenue of 28.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 25%, the highest growth rate in two years; the net profit attributable to Baidu (non-GAAP) was 4.3 billion yuan, which exceeded market expectations again. With the gradual emergence of technological innovation dividends, Baidu took the lead in unlocking new momentum for revenue growth. In the first quarter, Baidu’s core revenue increased by 34% year-on-year, of which non-advertising revenue increased by 70% year-on-year, maintaining rapid growth for three consecutive quarters. AI innovation business has become an important fulcrum to drive Baidu’s core revenue growth. Among them, Baidu’s IDG business revenue has grown rapidly, and Apollo’s autonomous driving (ASD) business has increased by 5 times compared to last year.
Robin Li, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, said: “Baidu has invested in AI technology for a decade, driving innovation in various industries such as marketing cloud, enterprise cloud, intelligent transportation, autonomous driving, intelligent assistants, and AI chips. Pushing technology development into a new stage, many former Baidu employees have returned, and Baidu students are passionately committed to intelligent computing and fulfilling the mission of using technology to make the complex world simpler.”
In the field of autonomous driving, Baidu Apollo continues to maintain its absolute leadership in technical strength. After 8 years of technical precipitation, Apollo has obtained the autonomous driving test licenses in Beijing, Changsha, Cangzhou, and California, USA, and obtained 221 autonomous driving test licenses in China, including 179 manned test licenses, with a total test mileage of more than 10 million kilometers. The only Chinese company that has accumulated tens of millions of kilometers of road tests. In the latest autonomous driving competitiveness list released by Guidehouse, the world’s leading public and business consulting company, Baidu has been firmly in the international autonomous driving “leader” camp for two consecutive years, becoming the only Chinese player on the list. Not only is self-driving technology leading, Apollo is also at the forefront of business exploration. At present, the public can use the Baidu Apollo GO App to book a car, and they can experience China’s first commercial “shared unmanned vehicle” travel services in areas such as Beijing Shougang Park. Baidu has also become the first company in China to open the operation of the unmanned Robotaxi. At the same time, Baidu has also taken the lead in obtaining the manned toll operation test license in Cangzhou and Chongqing.
Smart cars have become an important development direction of the automotive industry. Baidu Apollo’s Lego-style solutions covering “intelligent driving, smart cabins, smart maps, and smart clouds” will comprehensively promote the development and advancement of automotive intelligence. The “Intelligent Connected Vehicle Technology Roadmap 2.0” released by the National Intelligent Connected Vehicle Innovation Center pointed out that the penetration rate of intelligent connected vehicles will continue to increase, or reach 50% by 2025. Apollo’s autonomous driving technology has the characteristics of low cost, mass production, and self-learning, which is conducive to commercial mass production. It can be opened to major OEMs to provide technical empowerment and help partners quickly grasp the opportunities in the intelligent networked vehicle market. In the second half of this year, Baidu Apollo autonomous driving will usher in the peak of mass production. Every month, a new car equipped with Apollo autonomous driving technology will be launched. In the next 3-5 years, Apollo intelligent driving products are expected to be equipped with 1 million units.
Apollo Smart Cabin has cooperated with more than 70 car companies, and has cooperated with more than 600 models, and has achieved more than 1 million units of Xiaodu in-vehicle OS pre-installation and mass production. Equipped with Apollo Smart by 2023? Can AI be connected? of? will exceed 100 million. At the same time, Zhitu’s products have continued to evolve, and cooperation with many car companies has become more in-depth. Zhiyun products have also undergone major upgrades, and the cloud-based strategic cooperation with Chery and other car companies has enabled Baidu Apollo to be more comprehensive. It supports car companies to quickly build intelligent capabilities.
In the field of intelligent transportation, Baidu ACE intelligent transportation engine is “future-oriented and compatible with the present”, which can not only meet the development needs of high-level autonomous vehicles in the future, but also support the transformation and upgrading of various current transportation scenarios. Apollo will continue to empower the development of smart cities as an “intelligent transportation operator”. A few days ago, Baidu and the Institute of Intelligent Industry (AIR) of Tsinghua University released the Apollo Air plan, which is the only technology in the world that can realize the closed-loop L4 autonomous driving on open roads only through roadside perception. At the same time, Baidu Intelligent Transportation is rapidly advancing the construction of the Chongqing Yongchuan West Autonomous Driving Open Test Base (Phase II) project and the Sichuan Chengdu High-tech Zone 5G Smart City Intelligent Driving Project, helping the two cities to seize the strategic track of the intelligent driving industry and build a The intelligent networked industrial ecology with western characteristics.
Baidu’s good performance in the first quarter of 2021 not only confirms that it has achieved results in its strategic layout and technology investment, but also opens a new journey for Baidu in the fields of autonomous driving, vehicle intelligence, and intelligent transportation. In the future, as the first AI company in China, with the continuous changes in the automobile industry and the continuous transformation of the travel ecology, with the leading autonomous driving technology and more open platform resources, Baidu will work with all parties to continue to promote the intelligentization of the automobile industry. The process of transformation will realize China’s overtaking in the field of smart cars, and make high-quality smart car life within reach.