Baidu’s open-source edge computing platform AI capabilities

At CES 2019 on Wednesday, Chinese search giant Baidu introduced OpenEdge, an edge computing platform which the company is demonstrating for environmental detection tasks for cars, drones, and other moving systems. OpenEdge-powered devices can use the software stack for “data collection, message distribution, function compute, AI inference, and cloud synchronization,” according to a press release.

OpenEdge is the local component of Baidu Intelligent Edge, a commercial Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that is part of Baidu’s cloud services, though the company notes it is also compatible with models “trained on mainstream AI frameworks such as PaddlePaddle and TensorFlow.” Likewise, “devices deployed with BIE will be able to seamlessly exchange data with Baidu ABC Intelligent Cloud, perform filtering calculation on sensitive data, and also cache data, perform standalone computing, and provide real-time feedback control when without network or when network connection is unstable.”

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Baidu is releasing two products leveraging the OpenEdge platform. The BIE-AI-BOX is developed in cooperation with Intel, and “connects with cameras in vehicles to optimize video analysis and will officially provide AI apps for road recognition, car body monitoring, and driver’s behavior recognition.” The BIE-AI-Board is developed in cooperation with NXP Semiconductor, and can be embedded into other hardware-even as small as drones-for detection tasks.

Baidu and Ford announced a collaboration for self-driving cars last October, with the pair anticipating a launch of fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicles by 2021. Cars have been a central focus off CES, with Intel Mobileye bringing autonomous cars to Beijing by 2022, and connected and semi-autonomous concepts from Hyundai, Qualcomm, and Toyota, as well as this sweaty butt robot designed by Ford.

Baidu has not specified the license terms of the open source components of OpenEdge, or pricing or availability information for BIE-AI-BOX or BIE-AI-Board.

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