Just over a year after being founded, intelligent EV startup JIDU is on the cusp of officially unveiling the concept of its first vehicle, referred to as the “Robocar.” Following delays due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, JIDU announced the EV concept will debut at its ROBODAY event in June.
In January of 2021, Baidu announced it was expanding from software development into physical EV production, joining forces with Geely to produce electric vehicles. By March, the JIDU marque was born with $300 million in startup capital. This was followed by another $400 million in Series A funding in January of 2022, led by Baidu.
Rather than just build more EVs, JIDU will focus on popularizing autonomous driving and human-machine interaction technologies. This journey will begin with its flagship EV, currently called “Robocar.”
Following its initial introduction, JIDU quickly began promoting the Robocar as its nameplate for fully-autonomous EVs that combine interactive robot emotion and intelligence within the driving experience. In late 2021, founder, chairman and CEO of Baidu Robin Li revealed that JIDU would unveil its Robocar concept robot car in the first half of 2022 during a ROBODAY event.
ROBODAY was originally scheduled for April 18 of this year, but as the Beijing Auto Show was postponed that same week due to COVID-19, JIDU put a pin in its media day as well.
Following a social media post from JIDU today, we now have a new date for ROBODAY as well as some footage of the Robocar concept being assembled in China.
JIDU Robocar moves to production prep ahead of ROBODAY
JIDU shared progress of its flagship EV in a Weibo post today, including video footage of the Robocar being molded. On day 450 of its existence, the Robocar has moved from the model design stage to preparation for mass production.
Additionally, JIDU announced June 8th as the new date for its ROBODAY presentation where the Robocar concept will first be unveiled to the public via livestream. Here’s the message from JIDU’s Weibo (translated from Chinese):
JIDU’s first large-scale brand launch event, JIDU ROBODAY, is scheduled for June 8th. Let’s witness the debut of the JIDU robot concept car! The futuristic automotive robot design aesthetics, subversive user experience, industry ceiling-level AI technology and other product technical highlights will be presented at the press conference one by one!
When the Robocar arrives, it will sit upon Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform and come equipped with Baidu’s autonomous driving technology. Baidu’s Apollo ecosystem has garnered over one hundred partnerships with various OEMs including Toyota, Ford, and Volkswagen. Furthermore, the internet company has been dabbling in robotaxis.
Following its conceptual debut in a couple weeks, JIDU plans to unveil the production version of the Robocar at the Guangzhou Auto Show this November, followed by mass production and deliveries in 2023.
In the meantime, here’s JIDU’s teaser video of the Robocar being assembled:
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