Baidu has gotten permits to run a completely driverless robotaxi service in China. It says it’s the first organization in the country to acquire such permissions. Back in April, Baidu got approval to run an autonomous taxi service in Beijing, for however long there was a human operator in the driver or front passenger seat. Presently, it will actually want to offer a service where the vehicle’s just occupants are travelers.
Chinese internet giant Baidu brings tied down grants to the table for a completely driverless commercial robotaxi service, with no human driver present, in Chongqing and Wuhan through the organization’s autonomous ride-hailing unit, Apollo Go.
There are a few limits to the permits. Driverless Apollo Go vehicles will ship paying travelers around designated zones in Wuhan and Chongqing during daytime hours only. The service regions cover 13 square kilometers in Wuhan’s Economic and Technological Development Zone (WHDZ) and 30 square kilometers in Chongqing’s Yongchuan District. The WHDZ has been redesignd throughout the past year to help AV testing and operations.
Baidu says its robotaxis have numerous safety measures to back up the core autonomous driving functions. Those incorporate monitoring redundancy, remote driving capability and a safety operation system.
This is a notable step forward for Baidu as it hopes to offer robotaxi services at a huge scale. The organization has likewise been testing its vehicles in the US for several years and it could ultimately prove a competitor to any semblance of Waymo and Cruise.
Last month, Baidu uncovered the designs for its 6th generation electric robotaxi, the Apollo RT6 EV, which is a cross between an SUV and a minivan that accompanies a detachable steering wheel. The organization said it had the option to manage production costs by developing the battery electric architecture in house, bringing the per-vehicle cost to $37,000 per unit. This will assist Baidu with arriving at a purpose in small scale testing and deployment of the RT6 by the next year, spreading out to large scale in 2024.
Beside its new service in Wuhan and Chongqing and its driverless service in Beijing, Apollo Go likewise has a presence in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Changsha, Cangzhou, Yangquan and Wuzhen. Baidu said it intends to extend its ride-hailing service to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030. Before the current year’s over, Baidu hopes to add another 300 Apollo 5th gen robotaxis to its current fleet, the organization said.