This weekend, Chinese tech giant Baidu launched its fleet of driverless taxis in Beijing. The paid service serves as the continuation of the company’s plans for commercial autonomous driving operations in China started in 2020.
10 Apollo “Robotaxis” now operate eight stops in a 1.2 square mile area in western Beijing’s Shougang Park, a redeveloped sightseeing destination that will be the host venue of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Currently, each ride costs ¥30 yuan (approximately $4.60 USD) and is only open to passengers ages 18 to 60. To hail a Robotaxi, customers simply use the Apollo Go app, verify their identity upon entering the vehicle and the trip begins once fastened seatbelts are detected.
It is also important to note that a safety member is seated in the front passenger seat to address any unforeseen emergencies.
With over 210,000 passengers already served in three cities, Baidu is now planning to launch the “Apollo Go Robotaxi Service” to 30 other cities in China within the next three years.
“In the future, Baidu Apollo will launch driverless Robotaxis in more cities, enabling the public to access greener, low-carbon and convenient travel services, while continuing to improve the unmanned service process and user experience,” said Yunpeng Wang, Vice President and General Manager of Autonomous Driving Technology at Baidu.