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What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Autonomous Taxis Go Commercial in China

Internet company Baidu said it has secured the first permits in China to offer commercial fully driverless robotaxi services to the public on open roads. Its Apollo Go ride-hailing service has been authorised to collect fares for robotaxi rides - without human drivers in the car - in specific districts in Chongqing and Wuhan. 

The regulatory decision marks "a key turning point for the future of mobility in China, leading to an eventual expansion of driverless ride-hailing services to paying users across the country," Baidu said.

Having received the permits, Baidu plans to provide fully driverless robotaxi services in the designated areas in Wuhan from 9 am to 5 pm, and Chongqing from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, with five Apollo robotaxis operating in each city. The areas of service cover 13 square kilometers in the Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone, and 30 square kilometers in Chongqing's Yongchuan District.

Baidu said its autonomous driving system is supplemented by monitoring redundancy and remote driving capability (enabled by a 5G cellular connection) and a robust safety operation system.

Baidu said Apollo Go is the world's largest robotaxi service provider, recently reaching the milestone of more than one million orders. Source: Baidu statement

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