China’s search engine big Baidu mentioned on Monday it had obtained a license to function absolutely driverless robotaxi companies on open roads from two Chinese language cities, the primary of its sort on this nation.
The permits, issued by the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and the central metropolis of Wuhan, permit commerce robotic to supply rides to the general public with out a secure driver within the automobile. They go into impact on Monday.
Baidu mentioned it marked a “turning level” in China’s policymaking in direction of autonomous driving.
“These licenses have profound implications for the business,” Wei Dong, director of security operations at Baidu’s Clever Driving Group, informed Reuters in an interview. “
First, Baidu will deploy a sequence of 5 toll assortment robots in every metropolis, the place they are going to be allowed to function in designated areas from 9am to 5pm in Wuhan and 9:30am to 4pm. :30 p.m. in Chongqing, the corporate mentioned in an announcement.
The enterprise areas span 30 sq. kilometers within the Yongchuan District of Chongqing and 13 sq. kilometers within the Wuhan Financial & Technological Improvement Zone.
In April, Baidu’s Apollo and Toyota-backed Pony.ai says that it has acquired a license in Beijing to deploy the robotic with out a human driver safely within the driver’s seat on open roads in an space of 60 sq. kilometers. However Beijing’s license nonetheless requires them to have a secure driver within the passenger seat. These companies have began.
Baidu can be in talks with native governments in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, to safe licenses inside one yr to check absolutely unmanned and unpaid management robots in these cities. , in line with Wei.
China’s efforts to fast-track autonomous automobile testing and licensing come as US regulators are additionally pushing for key policy-settings on autonomous driving.
In January, self-driving firm Cruise acquired a license from the California Public Utilities Fee that enables it to supply absolutely driverless and paid rides from 10 p.m. to six a.m. on some roads. Selective Streets in San Francisco.
Apollo Go, Baidu’s robotaxi service, has operated greater than 1 million journeys throughout 10 Chinese language cities since its launch in 2020.
Baidu didn’t report any issues with the service and didn’t give a selected determine on how a lot it has invested within the undertaking.
© Thomson Reuters 2022