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Baidu reveals what it says is a $37,000 self-driving car with no wheels

BEIJING – Of China Search engine giant Baidu on Thursday unveiled its new engine self-driving car with a detachable steering wheel, with plans to put it to use for its robotaxi service in China next year.

Baidu says the price per unit will drop to 250,000 yuan ($37,031.55) for the new model, from 480,000 yuan for the previous generation.

“This massive cost reduction will allow us to deploy tens of thousands of AVs across China,” Baidu CEO Robin Li said at the Baidu World conference. taxis today. “

The new vehicle will possess Level 4 automated capabilities without human intervention, with 8 caps and 12 cameras along with car. The lid is a detection system that, similar to radar, uses pulsed laser light rather than radio waves.

The company did not disclose the manufacturer for the new model.

Tesla’s managing director Elon Musk said in an investor conference in April that the company aims to begin mass production of its robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals by 2024, and predicted that a robotaxi ride would cost less than a bus ticket.

Alphabet Inc’s Waymo also unveiled a steering wheelless robotaxi last year, saying it plans to roll out its “fully autonomous vehicle” in the US in the coming years.

However, the world’s automakers and technology companies are still waiting for a nod from regulators to deploy such vehicles in the real world.

Baidu Senior Vice President Li Zhenyu said at the conference the car will run on the road without a steering wheel after approval by Chinese authorities, Baidu Senior Vice President Li Zhenyu said at the conference. conference, adding that the driving ability of Baidu’s new AV could be equivalent to a skilled driver with more than 20 years of experience.

Baidu, which launched its Apollo autonomous driving unit founded in 2017, is one of a number of companies in China working to make the widespread use of autonomous vehicles a reality.

Its competitors in this area include, which is backed by Toyota Motor and WeRide, received investment from Nissan Motor Corporation and Guangzhou.

Apollo Go, Baidu’s robotaxi service, has operated more than 1 million miles across 10 Chinese cities since its launch in 2020, and Baidu said in April that it had received a license to deploy robotaxi without need people in the driver’s seat on the open roads of Beijing.

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