Breaking News

Baidu and become the first robotaxi services in Beijing to operate without security drivers

Baidu and become the first robotaxi services in Beijing to operate without security drivers

Baidu and have been given permission to operate their autonomous vehicles without security drivers in Beijing, a first for robotic taxi services in China (via CNBC). Although both companies no longer require a staff member in the driver's seat, they will still require a supervisor to be present somewhere in the vehicle.

Baidu and cannot yet operate throughout the city of Beijing – they are limited to a 60-square-kilometre (23.1 sq mi) area in Yijuang, Beijing, home to approximately 300,000 residents. While Baidu can deploy just 10 autonomous vehicles in the region, CNBC says can only operate four. Both companies have plans to expand the number of vehicles on the road (with Baidu shooting for 30), but it's unclear how soon that will happen.

Beijing authorities began allowing Baidu and to charge for their robotaxi services in Beijing's Yijuang region last November, although the city initially required both services to have a safety driver behind the wheel. was needed. According to TechCrunch, riders can welcome the Robotaxi service from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via Baidu's Apollo Go app or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Pony.AI's PonyPilot Plus app.

Last week, Toyota-backed became the first autonomous car company to win a taxi license in China. It received permission to operate 100 vehicles in Nansha, Guangzhou, and says a security driver will be on board for a short time. has also been approved to test its autonomous vehicles without safety drivers in three California cities, but the permit was suspended after one of its cars crashed into a center divider.

Baidu, the company behind the massive Chinese search engine of the same name, was also approved to test its vehicles without safety drivers in Sunnyvale, California. It joins several other autonomous vehicle companies, such as Waymo and Cruise, that can operate completely driverless vehicles on California's roads.

No comments