- Baidu received the first license to test autonomous vehicles
with no safety operator on board in Beijing, paving the way for launching paid
fully driverless robotaxi service in China's capital city after the success in
Wuhan and Chongqing
- Baidu is expanding the operation area, fleet size and hours of
commercialized fully driverless robotaxi service in central Chinese
- Baidu aims to build the world's biggest fully driverless
ride-hailing area in 2023, and plans to put an additional 200 fully
driverless robotaxis into operation the same year
BEIJING, Dec. 29,
2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU and
HKEX: 9888) ("Baidu" or the "Company"), a leading AI company with
strong internet foundation, today announced a major step forward
for its autonomous ride-hailing business in Beijing, as the company has been granted the
Chinese capital's first-ever license to test drive fully driverless
vehicles on public roads, with no driver or safety operator in the
Earlier this week, Baidu also announced a major expansion of its
commercialized fully driverless robotaxi service in Wuhan, tripling the size of its operation
area, increasing the number of robotaxis in service and expanding
operating time to include key evening hours.
These two moves together mark a major milestone on Baidu's
ambitious autonomous ride-hailing roadmap, as the company plans to
put an additional 200 fully driverless robotaxis into operation
across China in 2023, aiming to
cover the largest fully driverless ride-hailing service area in the
world by the end of the same year.
By receiving Beijing's first
license to test vehicles with no driver or safety operator in
the car, Baidu is one step closer to providing fully driverless
ride-hailing service to residents in the capital city. A total of
10 fully driverless test vehicles will travel across a 20 square
kilometer area in Beijing Yizhuang Economic Development Zone,
covering a series of complex urban road scenarios. With the start
of test drives in Beijing, the
cumulative area of operation and testing for Baidu's fully
driverless fleet now covers a total area of over 100 square
kilometers across China.
In Wuhan, with its most recent
expansion, Baidu's autonomous ride-hailing service platform Apollo
Go now covers an area of 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) in
the city, serving a population of 1 million. The expansion extends
the coverage of Baidu's fully driverless service from Junshan New
Town to the third to fifth ring of Wuhan Economic Development Zone.
At the same time, the operating hours of fully driverless robotaxi
service in Junshan New Town have been extended to 7:00-23:00
in order to better meet the public's needs for evening travel.
Baidu now becomes the first and currently the only vendor in
China to provide commercialized
fully driverless robotaxi service during evening hours.
Apollo Go has witnessed stunning growth in Wuhan over the past several months, having
begun operations in the city in May
2022. Three months later, Wuhan became the first city in China to host commercial operation of fully
driverless autonomous driving after Apollo Go upgraded its services
in August. As one of the leading centers of automotive industry
innovation in central China,
Wuhan has been actively leading
the way in enacting policies to support autonomous driving. At
present, Wuhan has over 400
kilometers of roads fully enabled by intelligent networks, ranking
at the forefront in China.
The speed of Apollo Go's expansion in Beijing and Wuhan is backed by Baidu's years of experience
in autonomous driving technology. Drawing on a decade of R&D
investments in this area, Baidu's mature technology and systems
allow the company to deploy autonomous driving at scale. Baidu has
accumulated more than 40 million kilometers of L4 autonomous
driving test mileage and 3,477 autonomous driving patent families,
holding the world record for number of autonomous driving patents
for four consecutive years. In addition to Wuhan, Apollo Go currently provides
commercialized autonomous ride-hailing services in cities including
Beijing, Shenzhen and Chongqing. Apollo Go's service in Chongqing and Wuhan features driverless commercial
operation, with no driver or safety operator in the car, making the
company the first in China to
operate fully driverless robotaxis in multiple cities. By the end
of the third quarter of this year, the cumulative order volume of
Apollo Go exceeded 1.4 million, ranking Baidu as the
world's largest robotaxi service provider.
"Backed by the company's solid foundation in AI, Baidu provides
a safe, intelligent and efficient autonomous driving technology
system, from fully driverless operation to large-scale commercial
operation," said Wang Chong, Chief
Brand Officer of Baidu Intelligent
Driving Group. "The generalization ability of Baidu's autonomous
driving technology has progressed at a more advanced pace than
expected. Now, the lead time to deploy autonomous driving
technology in a new city is only 20 days."
Founded in 2000, Baidu's mission is to make the complicated
world simpler through technology. Baidu is a leading AI company
with strong Internet foundation, trading on the NASDAQ under "BIDU"
and HKEX under "9888." One Baidu ADS represents eight Class A
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SOURCE Baidu, Inc.