Beijing-based TikTok owner ByteDance’s artificial intelligence startup, Haomo.AI, has unveiled a new infrastructure platform to supercharge China’s burgeoning autonomous driving industry.
Jointly developed by fellow ByteDance cloud services subsidiary, Volcano Engine, the data centre Mana Oasis is the largest computer complex dedicated to autonomous driving, with an estimated computing power of 670 petaflops.
Haomo.AI was founded in Beijing in 2019 and is managed by Great Wall Motors chairman, Wei Jianjun.
It provides autonomous driving solutions, including developing “intelligent” cockpits for Chinese car manufacturers and producing level 4 autonomous vans for roughly $18 717, according to the South China Morning Post.
Level 4 autonomy-equipped motor vehicles can operate fully independently and only require human intervention in emergency situations.
The two firms’ project was a testament to their commitment to contributing to China’s already rapidly expanding autonomous driving ecosystem, said Volcano Engine president, Tan Dai, speaking with the media at the launch of Mana Oasis.
Mana Oasis’s computing power is a recorded 670 petaflops (or 670 quadrillion floating point operations every second), surpassing the 600 petaflop Alibaba-run cloud facility, Fuyao, according to Haomo.AI.
The tech unicorn said there are no facilities of its kind anywhere else in China. Its immense operational speed capacity allows Mana Oasis to simulate a three-dimension driving scenario and reduce the error rate of other models by as much as 30 per cent.
News of the launch coincides with a period of renewed optimism in the industry after the ruling party opened several pilot zones in Beijing and Shenzhen where driverless automobiles are permitted to operate.
In August 2022, Beijing also drew up the framework for the adoption of fully autonomous commercial and public transport vehicles like buses, taxis, lorries and trucks.
China is set to become the world’s largest autonomous driving market by 2035, with an estimated 5.7 million commercial and private vehicles in operation, according to a recent report issued by Deloitte.
Fellow Chinese tech giants, Baidu, WeRide and Toyota-backed, Pony.ai, have also contributed billions of dollars towards the promotion of the self-driving industry.
ByteDance recently made headlines after it led a $16 million round of Series-A funding for Senior Auto, a company specialising in self-driving trucks working at ports.
In March 2022, the TikTok owner announced it had invested in Qcraft, a startup focusing on self-driving minibuses, according to the South China Morning Post.