Beijing (PingWest)- Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence giant Baidu on Sunday launch its Apollo Go robotaxi service in Beijing, making it the first autonomous car service operating in the nation’s capital.
According to Baidu, passengers can hail the autonomous taxi through the Baidu Maps or Apollo Go apps for free and without reservation.
Apollo Go fleet will start operation with 40 autonomous vehicles in Beijing, the autonomous robotaxi will have a safety driver behind the wheel to supervise the vehicles, but the ultimate goal is to offer a complete driverless taxi experience.
Apollo Go’s service area in Beijing encompasses 435 miles of road with 100 pick-up and drop-off stations across several residential and business areas. Baidu says it has finished 519,000 kilometer driving test, which is the longest road network for a self- driving test in China.
In addition to Beijing, Apollo Go has opened its robotaxi service to the public in the city of Changsha and Cangzhou in August.
Unveiled during Baidu World 2020 event in September, Baidu displayed an AI based system driving a vehicle without any assistance from a driver.
At the event, Baidu’s Chairman and CEO Robin Li said artificial intelligence will resolve traffic congestion in the next 10 yoars as AI will transform the whole transportation system.
Baidu started testing its driverless cars in Beijing in December 2019. Its Apollo fleet so far has completed road tests in the capital totaling 519,000 kilometer in Beijing.
In 2019, Beijing ranked first in China for the number of autonomous driving test licenses issued. In December 2019, Baidu Apollo claimed 40 of the first autonomous driving test licenses issued by the city officials.