Beijing: Baidu, the Beijing based multinational technology company specialised in Internet-related services and products, has launched the first paid, driverless, Robo-taxi service in China.
Though the taxies are driverless, Baidu has appointed a safety member to sit in the passenger seats as an added security measure. The safety member will not intervene in the operations of the car unless in case of an emergency. Presently, the taxis have been employed in the Shougang industry services park near the Yongding River. Presently, the Robo-taxies are used to drop clients at workplaces, restaurants, sports halls, hotels and cafeterias. The company has intimated that their taxis will serve athletes and staffs for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics.
People can book a Robo-taxi ride using the Apollo Go app. Passengers could either use the pre-installed map or the remote car horn to navigate the route. To unlock the car, passengers must scan QR code and health codes. The charges for a ride start at 30 Yuan or Rs 342.
Baidu has been conducting test drives and trials with their driver-less cars since last October. They have rolled out the cars for public use after road tests of 10 million kilometres. Baidu hopes to advance its services to all cities of China shortly.