Baidu pushes to place driverless taxis on China roads with BAIC tie-up

An Apollo Robotaxi runs at Shougang Park as Baidu launches China’s first driverless taxi service within the metropolis on Could 2, 2021 in Beijing, China.

He Luqi | | Visible China Group | Getty Photographs

GUANGZHOU, China — Baidu has partnered with state-owned automaker BAIC Group to construct 1,000 driverless automobiles over the subsequent three years and ultimately commercialize a robotaxi service throughout China.

The Apollo Moon automobiles might be manufactured underneath BAIC’s ARCFOX electrical automobile model whereas Baidu will present the autonomous driving programs and software program.

The businesses stated every automobile could be manufactured at 480,000 yuan ($74,729) every, versus the common of a 1 million yuan for an autonomous automotive, because of the maturation in expertise and mass manufacturing capabilities.

Apollo Moon has a projected working cycle of over 5 years. It is unclear when manufacturing will start, when they are going to be rolled out and whether or not Baidu, which is able to function the robotaxi fleet, will cost passengers to make use of the service.

Analysts see Baidu’s foray into autonomous automobiles over the previous few yr as a future development driver for the corporate because it seems to diversify its income away from promoting. The Chinese language web big has developed a self-driving software program and {hardware} system known as Apollo which it seems to promote to different automakers.

However robotaxis may provide one other income stream if they’re commercialized efficiently.

Baidu has been testing robotaxis in a lot of main cities throughout China together with Shanghai. In Beijing, Baidu has began charging passengers for rides in its driverless automobiles round Shougang Park, one of many websites for the Winter Olympics in 2022.

With the BAIC partnership, Baidu might be hoping to take robotaxis past simply the testing section and to a mass-market rollout of a service.

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