According to Sina News, Beijing municipal government has approved a permit to establish the first pilot zone for commercialized domestic robotaxi service in Yizhuang. In the meantime, a regulation document of service management has been released, stressing the fair principle of pricing the service.
The robotaxi business will be tested in Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area in Yizhuang, with a range of 60 square meters. Baidu’s Apollo is one of the two companies to get approval for piloting the business. Its app Luobo Kuopao is now enabled to charge fees from users but Baidu didn't provide exact price.
The other company is Pony.ai. The complete set of the two companies’ robotaxis is under 100 vehicles. Generally, there are about 700 stations in the first test.
Based on the principle of fair completion, the service providers can decide their prices independently.
According to CNBC, the approval sets the stage for other cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to do the same, Wei Dong, vice president and chief security operation officer, at Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group said. He expects those cities to act later this year or early next year.
This week, Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng also said it plans to launch a self-driving robotaxi service in the second half of 2022, as it reported stronger-than-expected quarterly sales, according to Caixin Global.