Baidu

China issues first permits for Robotaxi services in Beijing to Baidu & Pony.ai

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China has issued permits to Baidu and Pony.ai to provide driverless transport services to the public on open roads in Beijing. This regulatory approval marks an important milestone for the self-driving ride-hailing industry in China, indicating a regulatory openness to take another step towards a fully driverless mobility future.

These permits were issued by the Beijing High Level Automated Driving Demonstration (BJHAD) head office.

Baidu will offer ten licensed autonomous vehicles carrying passengers within a designated area of ​​60 square kilometers in beijing.

In September 2020Baidu became the first company in beijing offer autonomous ride-hailing services. Since November last year, Baidu has been charging fees for standalone Apollo Go services offered to the public under granted commercial licenses, although security operators are required in the driver’s seat.

Pony.ai’s new program, which is free to the rider, adds to an existing test program in which Pony.ai can offer a chargeable robotaxi service to the general public that keeps a safety driver behind the wheel to monitor the path.

Tiancheng Lou, Co-Founder and CTO of Pony.ai., said, “Since the launch of driverless testing, Pony.ai has demonstrated the technical quality of our system by successfully handling a wide range of extreme and complex scenarios. We achieved this by performing multiple technical validations and iterations of driverless scenarios, and by improving the design of system redundancy, the development of the remote assistance platform and the management of fleet operations.

Founded in late 2016, Pony.ai has been a pioneer in extending autonomous mobility technologies and services to a rapidly expanding footprint of locations around the world. Pony.ai has formed partnerships with major OEMs including Toyota, FAW Group, GAC Group, etc.