Electronic Enthusiasts Network reported (text / Li Cheng) Autonomous driving technology is undoubtedly one of the hottest tracks in recent years. As a rising star, Xiaomi recently disclosed the latest progress in the research and development of autonomous driving technology.

Autonomous driving technology is the core function of car intelligence, and it is also the first major direction that Xiaomi will break through in the automotive field. It is reported that Xiaomi has been concentrating on self-driving technology since March last year, and used 1/3 of the first phase investment of 10 billion in the car-building plan in the field of autonomous driving technology research and development. At the same time, an autonomous driving technology R&D team of more than 500 people has also been formed, aiming to enter the first echelon of the industry in 2024.

What is the current level of Xiaomi’s autonomous driving technology?

Since Xiaomi announced the manufacture of a car, the news about Xiaomi’s self-driving technology on the Internet has never stopped. Last month, a lot of news about the road test of Xiaomi’s self-driving engineering vehicles was exposed on the Internet. It was not until this annual speech in August that Lei Jun officially announced the development progress of Xiaomi in the field of self-driving, and passed 8 The minute demo video shows you Xiaomi’s autonomous driving technology.
Source: Xiaomi official website
Through the demo video displayed by Xiaomi, we can know that Xiaomi’s automatic driving technology has achieved the coverage of three main application scenarios of expressway, urban road and automatic parking, including active lane change overtaking, bus recognition, and unprotected scene U-turn/ More than 30 functions such as left turn, automatic detouring of piles and buckets, and automatic parking into parking spaces can meet the application needs of urban road scenarios.
Source: Xiaomi official website
Among them, when automatically turning right in an unprotected scene, the engineering test vehicle is located at an intersection with a complex scene. It can be seen from the dome video that Xiaomi’s automatic driving technology can clearly identify the passing people and vehicles around it, and measure the target and the body. When necessary, emergency braking measures are taken to ensure the safety of passing pedestrians and vehicles.

Technology Route: Vision or LiDAR?

At present, the autonomous driving technology mainly focuses on two routes of visual recognition route and lidar. Visual recognition is to install a large number of cameras in the car to identify surrounding objects, and then add the data to the neural network for calculation, so as to guide the car to automatically avoid obstacles. The LiDAR route can quickly complete 3D modeling through the advantages of its own laser beam detection, and accurately restore the surrounding road condition information.
Source: Xiaomi official website
In the video, when the Xiaomi self-driving test car encountered an accident vehicle ahead of it occupying the road, the Xiaomi automatic driving system marked the accident vehicle in time, and took a detour to pass the accident road section. Based on the vehicle’s recognition speed of static objects and the frequency of point cloud image data refresh, Xiaomi’s autonomous driving technology is taking the lidar route.

After all, for the visual route, static object recognition is still a difficult point to overcome. In a previous traffic accident in Taiwan, due to the misidentification of visual perception, the white truck was mistakenly merged with the sky, causing a speeding Tesla to collide head-on with the white truck that rolled over to the ground.

And for Xiaomi, which entered the autopilot technology late, the use of lidar can skip the cumbersome machine learning process of the visual route and accelerate the autopilot technology to get on the bus as soon as possible.

72 new autonomous driving patents in one year

Shortly after Xiaomi announced the manufacture of the car, “Xiaomi Automobile Technology Co., Ltd.” was established. On August 26, the author found through Tianyan investigation that since January this year, Xiaomi Automobile Technology Co., Ltd. has published a total of 121 patents. The latest one The patent publication date is August 16. According to rough statistics, among the 121 patents, a total of 72 patents are related to the field of autonomous driving. And Lei Jun said in his annual speech that Xiaomi’s self-driving technology focuses on full-stack self-development. It is believed that in the near future, Xiaomi will bring more autonomous driving technologies.

Escort autonomous driving and open up the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain

The 3.3 billion technology research and development funds are only part of Xiaomi’s layout in the field of autonomous driving. At the same time, in order to open up the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain and ensure the smooth landing of new cars in 2024, Xiaomi has also invested in more than ten companies involving autonomous driving solutions, core sensors, and core implementation. Server and domain controller enterprises, with a total investment of over 2 billion.

On June 3, 2021, Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Fund participated in the US$190 million Series D financing of Zongmu Technology, a domestic autonomous driving start-up. This is also Xiaomi’s first investment in the field of autonomous driving since it announced cross-border car manufacturing.

On June 8, 2021, Xiaomi Group participated in Hesai Technology’s USD 300 million Series D financing. This financing is mainly focused on the construction of Hesai Maxwell Intelligent Manufacturing Center and the research and development of high-performance LiDAR chips at the automotive level. On November 6 of the same year, Hesai Technology received another US$70 million financing from Xiaomi’s production investment. At present, Hesai Technology’s automotive-grade lidar AT128 has achieved mass production.

On August 1, 2021, Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Fund participated in the A2 round of financing from Geometry Partners, a provider of autonomous driving software and hardware integration systems.

On August 23, 2021, Shunwei Capital invested US$66 million in Innovusion (Tudatong), a developer of image-level lidar sensor systems, and Innovusion’s 1550nm lidar has been verified in the mass-produced model NIO ET7.
In addition to the manufacturers listed above, Xiaomi has also invested in Shendong Technology, Lice Technology, Beixing Photonics, Xinheyun, Proffess, Minghao Sensing, Elephant Acoustics, and Silicon Rui in the field of autonomous driving. Technology, Chengrui Optics and other manufacturers are constantly improving their industrial chain ecology in the field of autonomous driving.

Epilogue

It has only been more than 500 days since Xiaomi announced that it was building a car. In the field of autonomous driving technology, it has achieved a breakthrough from scratch. According to the car-building plan previously announced by Xiaomi, it is expected that the soft-model car will be offline in September, and we will also learn more about Xiaomi’s car-building information at that time.

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