Baidu begins testing Robotaxis in Shanghai
Chinese search engine giant Baidu has started testing its Apollo Go robotaxi on public roads in Shanghai.
Although Baidu’s robotaxis have achieved level 4 autonomous capability, a human operator will be present during all rides, which will enable the company to comply with local regulations. The trial begins on Sunday 19th September and rides will be free of charge.
The Shanghai fleet will be comprised of Baidu’s electric Hongqi EVs. Shanghai is the location of Baidu’s Apollo Park, an autonomous vehicle facility for operation, testing and R&D.
In April, the company launched 10 fully driverless robotaxis in the capital city’s Shougang Park, a 1.2 square mile area that has become the testing ground for China’s first commercialised robotaxi operations. No human safety operator sits behind the wheel of these cars, only a safety member in the passenger seat to provide riders with reassurance. Each ride costs 30 yuan ($4.60) and is open to passengers aged 18 to 60.
Image of an Apollo Go robotaxi, courtesy of Baidu