Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) will open fully driverless robotaxi services to the public in Beijing starting from May 2nd, 2021. It will be China’s first paid autonomous vehicle service where users can hail a robotaxi without a safety driver behind the steering wheel.
The fully driverless Apollo Go Robotaxi service will first be launched in Beijing’s Shougang Park – one of the venues for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. During the upcoming Winter Games, robotaxis will be available to provide shuttle services for athletes and staff.
By using the Apollo Go App, users can locate a robotaxi in the vicinity and hail a driverless ride through a system of unmanned self-service processes. Features including virtual reality navigation and remote car honking which can help users to identify the location of the car.
To unlock the autonomous vehicles, users are required to scan a QR code and health code on the car for identity verification and pandemic prevention purposes.
Yunpeng Wang, vice president and general manager of autonomous driving technology at Baidu, says: “Introducing unmanned services is an indispensable stage for the commercialization of autonomous driving. Today, we are opening the fully driverless robotaxi services in Beijing for the public, which we achieved only after conducting countless scalable driverless tests in many cities over a long period of time.”
“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,” adds Wang. “The commercialization of autonomous driving can alleviate congestion effectively and help to reach the peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in China.”
Baidu is a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation and is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.