Baidu prepares to launch driverless car rental services in Beijing

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Chinese tech giant Baidu said it will launch paid driverless taxi services in Beijing from May 2, making it among the first companies in the country to offer self-driving robot taxi services to paying users.

The company said that the driverless Apollo Robotaxi vehicle from Baidu, which will be launched in Shujang Park in the Chinese capital, will operate without a safe driver behind the wheel, adding that users can build and pay for a ride in a Robotaxi through the Apollo Go app.

The company has been testing autonomous driving on public roads since October in Beijing, and over the years Baidu has developed intelligent car technologies, including high-resolution maps, with the Apollo Autonomous Driving Module founded in 2017.

Wang Yunping, general manager of Baidu’s Autonomous Driving Technology, said the introduction of unmanned services is a key stage for self-driving marketing, adding that Apollo will launch driverless automated taxis in more Chinese cities in the future.

Alibaba-backed AutoX said earlier this year that it began offering driverless paid rides to public users in Shenzhen, and the startup, Nissan-backed self-driving Chinese company WeRide, is testing autonomous vehicles in the country.



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