Baidu and Pony.AI Receive Driverless Robotaxi Permit for Beijing

Not one but two Chinese companies received approval for driverless driving in Beijing today. In the U.S., such driverless fleets from waymo and Cruise are already on the road in San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin and Los Angeles. Now China is following suit with new cities.

Baidu has so far had driverless robot taxi licenses in the cities of Wuhan and Chongqing. Baidu is allowed to operate a total of 10 driverless autonomous vehicles with its Apollo Go platform in Beijing’s Yizhuang district, a special economic zone. Currently, 20 trips are made per day, according to Baidu.

Baidu has been developing the technology since 2013 and has already accumulated more than 50 million test kilometers for Level 4 autonomous driving. From October to December 2022, Baidu has provided 561,000 rides in the autonomous robot cabs. Baidu has already announced plans to expand its robotaxi service to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.

On the same day, Pony.AI also announced it had received a driverless robotaxi license for the same district in Beijing. Like Baidu, the license is for 10 autonomous vehicles.

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This article was also published in German.

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