Baidu’s robotaxis doesn’t need staff in these parts of China
Chinese tech company Baidu announced on Monday that it can sell some robotaxi games without any staff on board.
BEIJING – Chinese technology company Baidu on Monday said it had become the first robotaxi operator in China to obtain a license to sell rides without a driver or staff inside.
Local government approval allows Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi business to eliminate manpower costs in some cases.
The initial scale of the license was small: 10 robotaxis were divided into two suburban areas, Wuhan and Chongqing, two major Chinese cities.
In April, Baidu and rival robotaxi operator Pony.ai received approval from a suburban district of Beijing to operate robotaxis without operator. But the Chinese capital still requires employees to sit in robotaxi with passengers.
Municipal governments across China have issued a the number of licenses is increasing in the last year, allow robotaxi companies to operate and calculate fares in selected areas.
In the United States, Alphabet’s Waymo and Synthetic engine‘subsidiary Cruise was able to run public robots without staff on board. Robot and driver testing laws vary by city and state.
Baidu claims it has received over a million orders for robotaxi games. In the first three months of the year, the company said it operated 196,000 rides. Baidu will announce its second-quarter results on August 30.