Driverless Robotaxis Approved To Run In This Chinese City! Baidu, Pony.ai Will Run Operations
100 new driverless robotaxis will soon be running the roads of China’s capital Beijing!
Yes, you read that right – Chinese tech company Baidu Inc and self-driving startup Pony.ai, which is backed by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), have now received the approval to launch paid driverless robotaxi services now.
100 Driverless Robotaxis To Run in China’s Capital Beijing
These 100 driverless robotaxis will be paid for and run in an area in China’s capital Beijing. A ceremony was also conducted by the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, where the 60 square kilometer-large area (23 square miles) is located.
As per a statement by Baidu, this will be the first commercial deployment on open roads under its Apollo Go service.
In May, Baidu had launched per driverless Robo taxi services in a comparatively smaller area of 2.7 square kilometres in Beijing’s Shougang Park. As per the CEO Robin Li, the aim of the company is for the Apollo Go service to be in 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.
Chinese autonomous vehicle startup AutoX, backed by Alibaba Group (9988.HK) recently confirmed about the expansion of its robotaxi zone in the city of Shenzhen and will become the country’s largest fully driverless robotaxi zone, at 65 square miles (168 square km).
How Will This New Service Work?
As per the statement, customers will be able to call one of the 67 cars by the daily service. These will be available at more than 600 pick-up and drop-off points in both commercial and residential areas. Additionally, fares that will be charged will be similar to the level of premium ride-hailing services in China.
Pony.ai has also confirmed on its official Weibo account that they have received the approval for its Xiaoma Zhixing service from Beijing.
We recently reported to you about Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive Elon Musk’s announcement about the launch of ‘Robotaxis’, their strategy for an autonomous ride-sharing fleet to provide strong competition to its top competitors, like Uber and Lyft.
There also has been news about the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors, Cruise, which will be the first one to allow its employees to jump inside one of its own autonomous vehicles that operate in San Francisco without a human driver in the front seat.