Baidu and Apollo have started testing taxi rides with robotic axis in Shanghai. The taxis have been making test drives in Beijing and smaller cities in China since last year. Although the taxis are largely autonomous, there is still a driver behind the wheel.
The robot axis of the Chinese tech giant Baidu have been driving around in Shanghai since this week, according to Yahoo Finance. The taxis have level 4 autonomy. This means that the car can perform many functions itself and intervene itself if the driver does not react to unexpected traffic situations.
The vehicles in Shanghai are Hongqi’s electric vehicles. Customers can order a taxi in Shanghai’s Jianding district through the Baidu app between 9:30 AM and 11 PM. The passengers can then choose 150 points to be dropped off.
Baidu works with Apollo to offer the robot axis. The company’s autonomous taxis have been tested in China since 2019. It is not yet known how many vehicles are currently on the road in Shanghai, but a company spokesperson told Techcrunch that the goal is currently to have 200 robot axis driving around the city.
Baidu is not alone in experimenting with autonomous taxis. Hyundai previously announced that it is working on a level 4 autonomous taxi. Earlier this month it was announced that the first robot axis from Sixt and Intel will start making test drives through the city in Munich from 2022.