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Baidu, Pony.ai to Run Driverless Robotaxi Services in Beijing

Baidu’s Apollo service will see 10 fully autonomous vehicles in service with no humans in the driving seat nor safety operators

Baidu's autonomous driving car.
The Apollo RT6 EV – a cross between an SUV and a minivan with a detachable steering wheel –  will use eight lidars, a detection system similar to radar that uses pulsed laser light, and 12 cameras alongside the car. Photo: ApolloGo/ Baidu.


Baidu and Pony.ai have secured permits to run fully driverless ride-hailing services in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

Baidu’s Apollo service will deploy 10 fully autonomous vehicles in a technology park developed by the government of Beijing, the Chinese ride-hailing giant said in a statement.

The permit marks a step forward from December, when Baidu said it had been granted a licence to test the service. Baidu will now operate driverless robotaxi services in three Chinese cities including Wuhan and Chongqing.


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The vehicles will not have humans in the driving seat nor safety operators.

Beijing-headquartered Baidu, which generates most of its revenue from its internet search engine, has been focused on self-driving technologies over the past five years as it looks to diversify.

Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor said in a separate statement that it had also received such a permit from Beijing city. It already operates a robotaxi service in the southern city of Gaungzhou.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Baidu Gets China’s First Permits for Driverless Robotaxis

Baidu Unveils Autonomous Robotaxi as GM, Ford Seek US Permits

Baidu Joins Pony.ai in Planned Beijing Robotaxi Surge



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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