Sunday, April 14, 2024

Robotaxis enter service in Beijing

It looks like a normal car, but the white taxi by the curb has nobody driving it, and communicates with customers digitally to obtain directions and take payment. Beijing this week approved its first autonomous taxis for commercial use, bringing dozens of the so-called “robotaxis” to the streets of the Chinese capital, Tech Xplore reports. The vehicles can only carry two passengers at a time and are confined to the city’s southern Yizhuang area. An employee of the taxi firm also sits in the front of the car in case any sudden intervention is needed, but the vehicle drives itself. The rollout is a significant step forward for the driverless ambitions of Chinese tech giant Baidu and start-up Pony.ai, who were given the green light to deploy the cars on Thursday. But it is expected to be years before the taxis operate fully without human intervention, due to regulations and safety requirements. Developers are hoping Chinese consumers — who have embraced e-commerce, online payments, and other digital solutions — will quickly get used to the sensation of travelling in a car without a driver. Pony.ai co-founder Peng Jun said the key to moving the industry forward is “policy, technology, and public acceptance“. More than 500,000 trips have already been made in Pony.ai’s robotaxis during earlier testing stages, the Toyota-backed start-up said. Passengers using Baidu’s “Apollo Go” cars must download an app called “Luobo kuaipao” — meaning “radish run” — and can hail a cab at one of 600 pick-up and drop-off points. Sixty-seven Baidu taxis are on the roads in Beijing, charging just over two yuan ($0.30) for a 5.9-kilometre (3.66-mile) journey. Alibaba-backed start-up AutoX and ride-hailing giant DiDi Chuxing have also been running robotaxi pilot projects in cities around the country.

 

https://techxplore.com/news/2021-11-robotaxis-beijing.html

BIG Media
BIG Media
Our focus is on facts, accurate data, and logical interpretation. Our only agenda is the truth.
spot_img

BIG Wrap

Israel and U.S. shoot down missiles and drones launched from Iran

(BBC News) Iran has launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel in a retaliatory attack. Sirens and loud explosions have been heard as Israel's air...

HELP sign leads to rescue of three men from island

(BBC News) Three men were rescued by the US Coast Guard off an island in Micronesia after they sent out a plea for "HELP"...