Baidu expands self-driving taxi service to Zhejiang’s Wuzhen

China Daily via Asia News Network
Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. says it will offer a self-driving taxi service in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province.

Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. said it will offer a self-driving taxi service in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, as part of the company’s broader drive to accelerate the large-scale commercialization of autonomous driving technology.

The service provided by Baidu’s Apollo Go will include 84 pick-up and drop-off stations in the early stage in Wuzhen. Passengers can use the service from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through one click on the Apollo Go App.

Its autonomous ride-hailing service provided around 213,000 rides in the fourth quarter of 2021, making Baidu the world’s largest autonomous mobility service provider.

So far, Baidu Apollo’s L4 autonomous vehicles have driven more than 25 million kilometers, with 593 autonomous driving permits in China, including 398 for carrying passengers. L4 autonomy means the vehicle can drive by itself under most circumstances without a human backup driver.

Baidu Apollo has rolled out robotaxi ride-hailing services in nine cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It is also conducting commercial operations in Beijing, Chongqing, Yangquan, North China’s Shanxi Province.

As autonomous driving technology continues to mature, the autonomous driving industry is poised to consolidate in the coming years. According to market consultancy IHS Markit, the size of the autonomous car service market will exceed 1.3 trillion yuan ($203.5 billion), with the top-ranked service provider accounting for 40% of the market share.