Baidu Cloud ABC Inspire Summit 2019: Preparing for the Intelligent IoT Era

The era of intelligent IoT is coming, and last month Baidu showcased its plans to be a leader in this space at the Baidu Cloud ABC Inspire Summit 2019. During the event, Baidu announced that it will prioritize the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT, Edge Computing, and 5G, or what Baidu calls “ABC+X”. The company said it is trying to integrate the cutting-edge technologies to fully empower the digital transformation of enterprises across different industrial verticals.

In line with its strategy for IoT, Baidu announced the latest upgrade of “Tiangong”, its smart IoT platform. It also launched new products under three categories, namely – Cloud and Edge Integration, Space-Time Detection, and Data Intelligence.

Below are the key products Baidu introduced during the event:-

  • Integration of Cloud and Edge Computing

Baidu launched Baidu Intelligent Edge 2.0 (BIE 2.0) together with a smart edge hardware IoT module, AI box, and a developer kit. Exhibit 1 shows the key features of the products.

Exhibit 1: New products launched under “Integration of cloud & edge” category during 2019 Baidu ABC Inspire Event

Source: Counterpoint collect, Baidu Cloud corporate information

Smart manufacturing and autonomous driving are two typical use-cases for these newly launched products. Application of the upgraded BIE 2.0 platform in smart manufacturing can reduce the time for AI model deployment in the quality testing process from days to minutes. This can help factories significantly boost the efficiency of their quality control processes. In a smart driving scenario, the platform can collect real-time data from both vehicles and traffic automatically through a 5G network. It can then process and analyze the massive data in the cloud and deliver timely feedback to vehicles for reactions. Baidu aims to lead in V2X (Vehicle to X) technologies with its suite of products enabling the integration of cloud and edge computing. It will also work with partners to accelerate the maturity of the autonomous driving ecosystem.


  • Space-Time Detection

Baidu has also developed products based on Baidu Map, the dominant map service in China, to support the route planning and delivery efficiency of logistics companies.

Exhibit 2: New products launched under “Space-Time Detection” category during 2019 Baidu ABC Inspire Event

Source: Counterpoint collect, Baidu Cloud corporate information

Road logistics is the industry that will benefit most from Baidu’s “Space-Time Detection” services. There are various operational pain points with the traditional road logistics companies. Mistakes in routes planning, inefficient resources management, senders and receivers unable to track the location of goods in real time, and disagreement on final payments amongst different parties are some of these issues that affect road logistics companies. Baidu is working with its SaaS platform partners, such as Chemanman, to tackle these pain points. Its Space-Time Detection services, integrated with Chemanman TMS (Transportation Management System), can help logistics companies to achieve intelligent route planning based on Baidu’s map information database, to distribute and manage trucks teams with high efficiency. It also enables real-time goods tracking and automatic calculation of payments. According to Baidu’s client surveys, on average, the service can potentially help logistics companies to reduce human costs by 16%, and transportation costs by 11%. It can also help reduce truck route planning time by 85%.

China’s logistics industry has grown to be larget in the world, with the number of parcels transported exceeding 40 billion units. The volume of freight traffic is close to 48 billion tons, and the GDP generated from logistics exceeds RMB 252 trillion (approximately US$37 trillion) since 2017. This presents tremendous growth potential for Baidu’s Space-Time Detection Services.


  • Data intelligence

Here Baidu focused on demonstrating Xiaodu smart speaker enterprises solutions. Baidu is expanding its smart home business via B2B (Business to Business) and B2B2C (Business to business to consumers) cooperation. It is trying to work with industrial partners to increase product adoption and optimize the synergy between device and services.

Exhibit 3: New products launched under “Data intelligence” category during 2019 Baidu ABC Inspire Event

Source: Counterpoint collect, Baidu Cloud corporate information

Currently, Baidu is focusing on developing products for smart hotel and smart community scenarios with its partners. For a smart hotel, Baidu can provide a customized speaker UI for the hotel. The smart speaker allows guests to enjoy a series of services through voice commands. The smart speaker is powered by the DuerOS conversational AI system, which has been well trained to understand languages. The smart speaker also includes hotel information.

Exhibit 4:  Xiaodu smart speaker solution for hotels

Source: Counterpoint collect, Baidu Cloud corporate information

As of 2018, dozens of hotels in China, including Intercontinental Hotels, Mercure Hotels, Orange Crystals Hotels, and Minyoun Hotels, have Xiaodu smart speakers installed. Moreover, Baidu has built strategic partnerships with Mercure Hotel and China Lodging Group to have Xiaodu smart speakers pre-installed in all the new hotels they will build in China.

For a smart community solution, Baidu is working with Chinese property giants, such as Country Garden Holdings. In communities where Xiaodu smart speakers are pre-installed, information of property management agent and bills charging system is on the Xiaodu platform. This enables residents to easily communicate with their property management agents, order services, and pay utility bills via voice commands.

Exhibit 4:  Xiaodu smart speaker solution for property groups

Source: Counterpoint collect, Baidu Cloud corporate information

To summarize, Baidu demonstrated its smart IoT solutions across various industry scenarios during the event, including smart manufacturing, smart driving, smart logistics, and smart properties.

According to Counterpoint’s IoT forecast, the largest business and growth opportunities for IoT will lie in the public and industrial sectors. However, a lack of understanding of pain points of different industrial verticals is a big hurdle for technology providers to sell IoT solutions. To provide clients with the real turnkey services, Baidu has acquired over 5% share in HAND Enterprise Solutions Co., Ltd, one of the oldest ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) system provider in China. This will allow Baidu to integrate industrial knowledge HAND has accumulated over the long run, to Baidu Cloud services. We believe that Baidu will have the momentum across cloud, edge computing, AI, and service platform in the IoT value chain and it will become a leading player in the upcoming intelligent IoT era in China.