Baidu’s robotaxi can drive without a steering wheel, car price slashed

Baidu unveiled on July 21, 2022, the sixth generation of its self-driving electrical motor vehicle crafted for journey-hailing rides — at a price approximately 50% below that of a model announced very last 12 months.

Baidu

BEIJING — Chinese tech huge Baidu introduced Thursday it has cut the cost of its robotaxi cars by practically 50 %, decreasing expenditures for a nascent organization.

The new vehicle, the Apollo RT6, is an electric powered vehicle that expenses 250,000 yuan (about $37,313) to deliver — without having relying on a third-occasion manufacturer, Baidu explained. That price is 48% much less than the 480,000 yuan producing price tag introduced very last calendar year for the Apollo Moon, made in partnership with point out-owned BAIC Group’s Arcfox electrical car model.

The Apollo RT6 is established to begin operating on China’s roadways in the next fifty percent of future year underneath Baidu’s self-driving robotaxi company.

The firm’s robotaxi small business, known as Apollo Go, been given Beijing city’s acceptance in November to start off charging fares for rides inside of a suburban district. Having said that, a human staff member have to however sit in the car.

In April, municipal authorities loosened limitations on whether or not the team member experienced to sit in the driver’s seat, paving the way to thoroughly doing away with the value of a taxi driver. It continues to be unclear when the Chinese government would make it possible for robotaxis to cost fares for rides with no any human workers in the vehicles.

We are moving in the direction of a upcoming in which getting a robotaxi will be 50 % the price of taking a taxi today.

Baidu explained the company aims to make 100,000 Apollo RT6 vehicles over an unspecified period of time.

“This significant price tag reduction will allow us to deploy tens of thousands of [autonomous driving vehicles] throughout China,” Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, said in a assertion. “We are transferring to a long run exactly where using a robotaxi will be half the expense of getting a taxi today.”

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Apollo Go operates in 10 towns in China, with options to reach 65 cities by 2025, and 100 towns in 2030, the business explained.

In addition to Baidu, start off-ups such as Pony.ai and WeRide are tests robotaxi firms in China.

To expand in China, businesses want to take a look at robotaxis and get licenses in each metropolis they want to work in, Elinor Leung, controlling director of Asia telecom and online analysis at CLSA, told CNBC earlier this week.

Till cities identify each and every other’s testing information, robotaxi corporations will need to have to elevate far more money to test much more cars in various metropolitan areas, she explained.