Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. BIDU said Monday it has received the country’s first-ever approval to commercially offer fully driverless robotaxi services to the public on open roads in Chongqing and Wuhan.
Start of service: Apollo GoBaidu’s autonomous ride-hailing service will launch five fully driverless robotaxi services in designated areas in Wuhan from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and in Chongqing from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Apollo 5th generation robotaxis running in every city.
Baidu’s range of services covers 13 square kilometers in the Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone and 30 square kilometers in the Yongchuan District of Chongqing.
Why it matters: The company said this would mark a major turning point for the future of mobility in China, eventually leading to the expansion of driverless ridesharing services to paying users across the country. According to the company, China is the first country in the world to allow fully driverless robotaxi operations in two megacities.
Most important milestone: Apollo go recently reached the milestone of more than one million orders after expanding to all prime cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
price movement: Baidu shares fell 1.6% to HKD135.60 on Monday morning. The stock has lost over 9% over the past month Data from Benzinga Pro.
Photo Courtesy: Baidu