fbpx

Beijing residents can take driverless taxis – for just £3.30 per ride

A customer gets in an Apollo Robotaxi at Shougang Park in Bejing (Getty)

Chinese tech giant Baidu has rolled out a driverless taxi service in Beijing, making it the first company to commercialise autonomous driving operations in China.

Unlike previous Baidu autonomous driving demonstrations in the capital, this was the first time there was no safety driver sitting behind the wheel. Instead, an employee sits in the front passenger seat to deal with any emergencies.

Up to 10 Apollo ‘robotaxis’ are operating in an area of about 1.2 square miles, picking up and dropping off passengers at eight stops in Shougang Park, western Beijing.

Each ride costs 30 yuan (£3.30), and is open to passengers aged 18 to 60.

The park is a former site of iron and steel plants which has been redeveloped into a sightseeing destination and a venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

A Baidu Apollo Robotaxi passes its customer service counter setup at the Shougang Park in Beijing, Sunday, May 2, 2021. (AP)

Although traffic flows are not heavy, an influx of tourists was seen in the park on the second day of China’s international labour day holiday.

The robotaxis were repeatedly forced to brake when encountering pedestrians or curious tourists who came close to the vehicles for photos.

Kelly Wang and her husband, who work in the artificial intelligence industry, said they had a smooth riding experience.

‘I would recommend people experience this. There is a strong sense of technology, because nobody is in the driver’s seat,’ she said. Her husband is even considering buying such a car for their household.

Passengers can order a robotaxi on an app called Apollo Go. When the vehicle arrives, passengers must have their identities verified before getting in, and the taxi will start to move after it detects the passengers have fastened their seatbelts.

The taxis operate in a 1.2 square mile area and a ride costs £3.30 (Getty)

One visitor, Amy Li, still had concerns about autonomous driving, because driving behaviour on the road can be complex.

‘We’ve all had experiences such as other cars jumping the queue or making a sudden lane change. People have emotions while robots don’t, at least at present,’ she said.

‘The robots may not be able to deal with such changes.’

Baidu, known for its search engines, has been testing autonomous driving on the open road since last year. Its Apollo Go robotaxi service has carried more than 210,000 passengers in three cities across China and aims to expand to 30 cities in the next three years, the company said in a press release.

‘In the future, Baidu Apollo will launch driverless robotaxis in more cities, enabling the public to access greener, low-carbon and convenient travel services, while continuing to improve the unmanned service process and user experience,’ said Baidu.


MORE :
David Gandy talks smart home, Jaguar car tech and why he’s team Android


MORE : Elon Musk denies ‘autopilot’ was in use during deadly Tesla crash

Thanks for reading the whole article. If you wish to get an daily update about Beijing residents can take driverless taxis – for just £3.30 per ride , click on the bell button to subscribe for the notifications.

Also, we are now available on all social media:
Follow us for Giveaways and Offers: https://www.flow.page/g-covers

For any Paid Promotions contact us here: https://www.flow.page/g-covers