FMBA Automobile Association members enjoyed taking a spin in the L4-class Apollo on a visit to the Baidu Autonomous Driving Experience Station, at the tech giant’s Beijing headquarters, on 23 May.
Mr. Shang Guobin, Director of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group and General Manager of Integrated Management and Cooperation Development, held an in-depth discussion with FMBA Automobile Association members about the outlook for Apollo in the autonomous-driving landscape of the future. Since the announcement in July 2017 of an AI partnership between Baidu and the US chipmaker Nvidia Corp., the internet company’s autonomous-vehicle operating system has been upgraded from version 1.0 to 2.5 and today supports geofenced highways.
Following the test drive, members of the association had fun interacting with some of Baidu’s AI products, including a small robot, smart home technology and a facial recognition payment system. Mr. Bai Songtao (FMBA 2016 intake), Secretary General of the FMBA Students Association, said, “It was fascinating to try out some of Baidu’s AI offerings – I felt like the future had arrived!” He added, “Riding in the self-driving car was also an amazing experience – a little unnerving at first, but definitely something I could get used to.”
The FMBA Automobile Association was established by alumni and students of the MBA Program in Finance (FMBA) with a connection to the automobile industry. Currently numbering more than 150 members, the association is chaired by Mr. Gong Min (FMBA 2006), who is Senior Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Directors for Beiqi Foton Motor Co. as well as Secretary General of the Listed Companies Council of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The FMBA Automobile Association’s Vice Chairman is Mr. Wang Wei (FMBA 2010), who is Chairman and CEO of Credit First, while the Secretary General is Mr. Chu Wenbo (FMBA 2016), who is Associate Director of the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Research Institute and holds a PhD from the Department of Automotive Engineering of Tsinghua University.