China: Baidu’s robotaxis service increasingly popular

When announcing its quarterly balance sheet, which incidentally beat estimates, Baidu gave some very encouraging figures for Apollo Go, its self-driving taxi service.

65% increase quarter over quarter

While it found itself in difficulty with the emergence of companies like ByteDance in China, the Chinese giant is regaining the hair of the beast thanks to artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. As a reminder, Baidu launched Apollo in 2017; it is now the largest autonomous driving platform open source to the world. The company also operates its Apollo Go service in several Chinese cities, and multiply the efforts to deploy it on a larger scale.

Efforts that are paying off since Baidu’s activity jumped 65% during the third quarter, from 287,000 trips between April and June to 474,000 from July to September. In Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, where they operate in restricted areas, vehicles made an average of more than 15 trips per day. ” As far as we know, this number is quite close to the average daily rides of traditional carpooling services. “, explains Robin Li, CEO of Baidu.

Chinese authorities are pushing the autonomous driving sector

In August, Baidu obtained the right to carry out routes without any security driver in the cities of Wuhan and Chongqing., another self-driving company that operates a robotaxis servicehas also received approval from the Chinese authorities to achieve this.

Overall, the Middle Kingdom is quite flexible and moving regulations quickly so that the autonomous driving sector can evolve. As explained by South China Morning Postself-driving is expected to save an estimated $252 billion in labor costs nationwide by 2030, when thousands of trucks traveling between cities will no longer have a driver.

Baidu is also betting on electric vehicles

We believe that our excellent safety record in autonomous passenger transport on public roads, which continues to improve, is a strong argument to encourage more cities to issue permits for driverless carpooling. “says Baidu in a press release. The sector would also be attractive to individuals, who are increasingly interested in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Upstream, Baidu develops own electric vehicles, and explained that when launched, they would be equipped with Apollo Level 4 technology, which requires no human intervention when driving. China is currently the largest electric vehicle market in the world.

In the United States, the self-driving sector is also enjoying a major resurgence. Google’s subsidiary, Waymo, has just presented own robotaxiwhile the Motional joint venture will enable users by Lyft and from Uber in certain areas to make journeys in autonomous vehicles.

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China: Baidu’s robotaxis service increasingly popular

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