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Baidu, the Chinese tech and Internet giant announces today the Apollo Suite, a level 4 vision-based vehicle framework. (Photo: Baidu Research/Twitter)

Baidu is one of the increasingly growing companies focused on the development of software solutions and full-stack hardware for self-driving vehicles. Today, the Beijing-based tech titan announces the Apollo Lite, a framework heavily dependent on the vision that utilizes several cameras to obtain level 4 autonomous driving.

The Apollo Lite is Baidu's first-ever level 4 autonomous driving closed-loop vision-based solution developed for urban roads. The Chinese Internet giant unveiled the stunning suite at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition or the CVPR 2019.

The Apollo Lite, according to Wang Liang, head of Apollo Technical Committees at Baidu, the suite is capable of processing a massive amount of data produced by 10 cameras at the rate of 200 fps or frames per second. Each camera has a maximum frame drop rate of around 5 percent. Through the solution, sensors in vehicles are enabled to obtain a 360-degree environment perception in in-time and prolong its head-on sensor range up to 240 meters.

The new sensing system will aid the vehicles developed by Baidu to operate in closed-loop end to end autonomous driving on urban roads without the use of the rotatable high-beam lidar. This is based on technical research and development as well as on the repetitive road tests conducted by the company during the first half of the year.

According to the Chinese Internet and tech titan, the Apollo Lite has been subject to different kinds of tests on various road sections in Beijing, China. So far, it was able to accomplish the highest level in the world in terms of the number of vehicles tested, vehicle's performance, cumulative testing in closed-loop autonomous driving on metropolitan roads.

Apollo Lite's panoramic perception view features a low-cost solution which also works well with ADAS applications. The announcement of the Apollo Lite shortly follows the launch of Apollo 3.5 in January. This is the most recent build of the company's open source autonomous driving infrastructure along with the Apollo Enterprise.

The enterprise is intended to offer a chain of custom made intelligent driving solutions and products for vehicles. There is a 20 percent increase or approximately 12,000 developers from the mid-2018 who have used Apollo's code at the Github's repository. At present, the Chinese Internet giant aims to achieve full urban roads and highways autonomy come 2020.

Aside from Apollo Lite, Baidu is also working with other Chinese auto manufacturers like Great Wall, Cherry, and BYD Auto aside from Kia, Hyundai, VM Motori, and Ford to release Apollo Enterprise solutions to vehicles.