Have you heard about robocar company Jidu? Perhaps you know them by the name of their parent company, Baidu. Suffice it to say that this is a car that is capable of completely transforming the way that people get from point A to point B. In fact, it’s not really driving at all, nor is it merely commuting. Instead, it’s an immersive experience that truly has the capacity to change your life. If you’re not convinced, consider the 20 things about the company that are listed below.
1. Most people get confused about their name
It’s true that many individuals get confused between the names “Baidu” and “Jidu”. That’s largely because the names are often used interchangeably by many people whenever they report on something the company is doing. In order to cut down on the confusion, you can think of it this way. Baidu is the name of the larger parent company. On the other hand, Jidu is the name for the specific part of the company that is developing the robocar. Therefore, it’s not necessarily wrong to refer to the car as being manufactured by Baidu, but it isn’t exactly precise, either.
2. They just finished their first round of fundraising
It’s definitely worth noting that they just finished their first round of fundraising and they’re on track to move on to their second round in the very near future. It’s almost hard to believe that the company is moving at such a breakneck pace, but it seems as though that is exactly what they intended to do all along. More importantly, it appears that they are accomplishing everything that they have set out to do thus far.
3. So far, they’ve raised $400 million
To date, they have raised $400 million through their first round of fundraising alone. It’s actually fairly rare that any company is capable of raising that much money in a single round of fundraising, even when you’re talking about high-tech companies like this one. In fact, there are many other companies that also consider themselves tech startups that haven’t managed to raise quite that much money after four rounds of fundraising. Typically, this serves as a solid indicator of how well the company is expected to perform in general. That’s because investors don’t usually tend to get involved unless they believe the company is capable of succeeding. When they do get behind a corporation in this manner, it’s usually because they’re already quite convinced that the company in question is more than capable of producing everything they have said they will produce and more.
4. They plan to use the money to finish their research and development phase
At the moment, the company is still in the research and development phase, but that’s not expected to last much longer. As a matter of fact, company executives are certain that this first round of fundraising will more than cover the cost of finishing everything that needs to be completed in that particular phase, effectively allowing them to move on to the production phase. It seems rather ambitious to believe that this can be accomplished so quickly, but as previously mentioned, the company has been achieving what was seemingly impossible since day one.
5. They want to mass produce their new robocar
They have goals of mass producing their new robocar in order to make it widely available to anyone that wants one. Surprisingly, they’re also saying that this car should be more affordable than most. Much of that is because of the fact that they will be mass producing it, as the cost for each unit goes down exponentially with the number of units that are actually produced.
6. They hope to have it in production by 2023
The company is well known for having ambitious goals, something that they have been able to keep up with so far. They actually hope to have this car in production by 2023. Although it isn’t certain exactly when during the year production would begin, it’s believed that it would probably be during the first half of the year if at all possible. Considering how fast they’ve been moving, they just might pull it off.
7. They launched less than one year ago
It’s important to note that the company actually launched less than one year ago. It was only in January of 2021 that they began searching for investors for startup capital in order to determine whether or not there was even any interest in developing a robocar. In March of that same year, they received their start-up money. That means that they’ve only been in operation for about 10 months. When you consider everything that they have achieved in that short amount of time, it’s absolutely mind-boggling.
8. The company received startup money to the tune of $300 million
If you’re curious as to how much they received in startup capital, it was $300 million. Granted, that’s a lot of money for a company that hasn’t yet opened its doors, but it’s no secret that a concept like this is going to cost a lot of money. Clearly, they pitched their idea to the right individuals because they received the startup capital they were looking for and then some.
9. They’re designing a car that operates using AI technology
These days, almost everything of a technical nature relies on artificial intelligence to some degree. However, this company wants to kick things up to the next level. They intend to design a robocar that relies fully on AI technology, allowing it to be more of an experience that is shared between the technology in question and the person riding in the car than anything else. It’s definitely not going to be your typical commuting experience. That’s exactly what the company is counting on.
10. They want the car to be intuitive, even playing on your emotions
The company claims that the car will even be able to play on your emotions, almost as if it can sense those emotions and then adjust its actions accordingly. They also promise that you will be able to have more time to do things that you need to get done because you won’t be focusing on driving from one place to another, nor will you be forced to ride some form of crowded public transportation. Imagine what it would potentially be like to be able to catch up on sleep, chat with a friend or even get a little extra work done during your commute when you don’t have to pay attention to what’s going on around you all the time.
11. Chinese automaker Geely is also involved
Jidu knows how to get things done. That’s something they’ve already proven time and again. Currently, they’re working with Geely, a Chinese automotive manufacturer. The goal is to make sure that all the bases are covered before the project even moves past the research and development phase. That way, they can speed up production and get the car into the hands of the public as quickly as possible.
12. You might be driving a car owned by their partner, Geely
As it turns out, Geely actually owns Volvo, the car company that has been in business for decades. As a matter of fact, you might have one sitting in your driveway right now. Clearly, this is a company that thought things through very carefully before they ever decided to open their doors. That’s obviously one of the reasons that investors were so agreeable about giving them so much startup money to begin with. The fact that they aren’t leaving anything to chance means a great deal. After all, when you’re talking about a vehicle that is essentially piloting itself, the last thing you want is something that could potentially have a number of glitches in it which might adversely impact it’s safety.
13. They’re using a simulator to develop the car
Many people wonder how the company has progressed so quickly. Much of it comes down to the fact that they haven’t actually developed a fully functional prototype yet. Instead, they’re using a simulator backed with software to develop the car, choosing to wait until everything is exactly the way they want it to build a prototype. This is something that has caused concern among some people, but executives at the company are convinced that this is the right course of action.
14. They do a lot of safety testing
Obviously, they tend to do a great deal of safety testing. Since safety is going to be a major factor on an autonomous vehicle, it is something that they have placed a great deal of focus on from the first day of operations. At the moment, they say they have absolute confidence that the vehicle will be safe, despite the rapid pace at which they are operating and the fact that this project goes far beyond anything that’s ever been designed before.
15. They have a specific approach to marketing
There is no doubt that they have placed a genuine focus on marketing from the moment that they decided to go into business. As such, they’ve been doing a great deal of marketing to recruit people into what they call their “community” on social media platforms. They’ve also been showing up at car shows and other comparable events in order to gather support.
16. Parent company Baidu owns the majority of Jidu, but there’s more to the story
To be more exact, Baidu owns 55% of Jidu. Conversely, the other company that has been mentioned so prominently herein, Geely, owns the other 45%. When you consider this fact, it becomes easy to see why both Baidu and Geely have put so much money into Jidu. It seems that they both want the company to succeed in its own right. However, they also know that by gambling on Jidu’s success now, they have the potential to make great financial gains later on down the road.
17. They have a forward-thinking CEO
They named Xia Yiping as their CEO. Many people might recognize the name as the co-founder of Mobike, a bike sharing company that paved the way for many other companies that are similar in structure. The reason for naming Yiping as Jidu’s CEO is relatively simple. The company wanted someone who has already demonstrated an innate ability to do what some might consider impossible, someone who can think outside the box. Yiping has a proven track record in this area. In addition, their new CEO has also proven that it’s possible to make a profit faster than some might expect, even when the development phase of a project is moving at a record-breaking pace. All in all, they wanted someone who would share their vision and be able to get results at the same time. That’s a relatively short list. As far as company executives were concerned, there was no question who they wanted to head Jidu. They hope that it is a partnership that will continue well into the future.
18. They plan to become a global company that paves the way for robocars
Geely already has a great deal of experience with electric cars. As this particular project progresses, they hope that they will be able to pave the way for a robocar movement. In fact, they want to be at the forefront of robocar sales for the foreseeable future. They believe that this is where the entire automotive market is eventually headed, and they want to be there before anyone else.
19. Their parent company hasn’t always been involved with vehicles
Baidu has traditionally been known as a search engine company. As such, many people have found it surprising that they are not only involved in this venture, but also the primary owners of Jidu. Nevertheless, they aren’t allowing anything to stop them. In fact, they are moving ahead faster than anyone could ever have expected.
20. They hope to have their first vehicles delivered some time next year
You already know that they plan to mass produce their robocars by next year. You might be surprised to know that they also plan to have their first cars delivered to customers before the end of 2023. Considering how fast they’ve been moving through their paces, they just might do it.