BYD took to the stage in Shenzhen, China, on September 5th at its Worldwide Developer Conference to share its plan for autonomous mobility for the years ahead. BYD launched its new D++ open-source autonomous vehicle technology platform, which was released with a special developer edition of BYD’s Qin Pro.
Following in Apple’s footsteps, BYD’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference is a flag in the sand for BYD as it seeks to define the path forward for the development of fully autonomous vehicle technology and standards. BYD is not looking to cut the path forward by itself, and shared the spotlight at the conference with Baidu President Zhang Yaqin, Qihoo 360 Chairman and CEO Zhou Hongyi, Roadstar.ai CTO Heng Liang, as well as Horizon Chairman and CEO Yu Kai.
The conference builds on BYD’s leadership in open-sourcing its autonomous driving technology back in June at its Dreams Gala, where the company officially released the technology for 341 sensors and 66 controllers for its DiLink system. At the developer conference this week, BYD took the wraps off of the D++ platform, which is the open-source platform that underpins the larger DiLink system.
DiLink is the equivalent of adding a brain to the tin man, folding the core AI suite in with voice recognition and a mobile data connection to the power of the BYD cloud. The system leverages these technologies to transform the car into a self-learning personal automotive assistant that will learn the regular schedules of passengers and customize the in-car experience for them, according to their needs and desires.
In my head, the system is being developed to realize that my kids go to school at the same time every day and that they both apparently love to listen to dubstep or to watch Lego shows…after they’ve finished any outstanding school work, of course.
“Like the development of smartphones which shifted from closed to open systems, this is also the only way for the car to become ‘smarter’. As we are embracing this new wave of intelligence, I’m proud to announce BYD’s strategy is now ‘open’,” said Wang Chuanfu, President and Chairman of BYD. BYD brought the capability to drive its premium vehicles with the included key fob years ago, which is something we were able to test out in person on the recently launched refreshed BYD Tang.
BYD sees the convergence of connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles as the natural evolution of the personal automobile and one it is well-suited to lead the charge into. “In the future, travel will only comprise 1% of smart cars, and the remaining 99% is open to the human imagination,” said Mr. Wang. “BYD will fully open 341 sensors and 66 controls on the car for developers, providing a much broader creative platform, which is bound to produce an immeasurable application ecology. We are doing for the car what Android did for the mobile phone.”
On the consumer side, BYD has injected its cutting edge in-car tech into a new developer edition of its Qin Pro under the BYD Eco Open Platform banner. The new edition of the driverless car platform includes the capability for over-the-air (OTA) updates and will be launched later this month.
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