Baidu opens robotaxi service in Beijing
Published: 11:58 AM, 13 October 2020 Updated: 06:03 PM, 13 October 2020
Apollo Go Robotaxi, self-driving taxi service. Photo: Collected
Baidu Inc, the search engine giant in China opened up its Apollo Go Robotaxi services to the public in Beijing.
By opening the self-driving taxi service, Baidu became the first company to carry passengers in autonomous vehicles in the Chinese capital.
China Daily reported that with a fleet of 40 vehicles, the service covers the largest total area and the longest road network of about 700 kilometres for an autonomous driving test area in China.
It has established nearly 100 pick-up and drop-off stations in residential and business areas in the Yizhuang, Haidian and Shunyi districts of Beijing.
Passengers are able to enjoy self-driving taxi rides for free without the need to make an appointment in those districts after registering on Baidu Maps or the Apollo website.
An Apollo Robotaxi is able to accommodate up to two passengers aged between 18 and 60. Based on the current laws and regulations, safety drivers are still required in the car to ensure driving safety. The taxi is equipped with Level-4 pilot self-driving technologies.
Baidu's Robotaxi service was first introduced to Changsha in September 2019 with an initial fleet of 45 driverless cars, about two years after Google's self-driving unit Waymo started its pilot project in Arizona.
In December 2019, Baidu Apollo claimed 40 of the first batch of manned autonomous driving test licenses issued by Beijing. - China Daily, Global Times