|Nowadays, autonomous technology has been a trend in the industry. In China, there is one company that just got even closer to making this dream a reality.
AutoX, a China company
AutoX, an Alibaba(BABA)-backed startup announced it had rolled out a fully driverless robotaxis program on public roads in Shenzhen. According to the company, they are the first player in China to do so, marking an important industry milestone.
How does the program work?
AutoX removed the backup driver or any remote operators completely for its local fleet of 25 cars. The government is not restricting the route where AutoX operates, though the company said they are focusing on the downtown area.
The company released a video on how its autonomous technology works. In the video, the car was navigating around loading-trucks, veering past pedestrians, and even performing a U-turn.
“It’s a dream,” AutoX CEO Jianxiong Xiao said in an interview. “After working so hard for so many years, we’ve finally reached the point that the technology is mature enough, that we feel confident by ourselves, to really remove the safety driver.”
According to Xiao, they have over 100 vehicles driving every day on the road in China to capture data for AI technology to analyze.
However, the new initiative is still in the pilot phase and are not open to the public currently.
Race of the robotaxi technology in China
AutoX has claimed an edge in China, but it is not the first time for autonomous technology to hit the public roads.
Meanwhile, in June, Didi, China’s biggest ride-hailing firm began to offer free rides in its autonomous vehicles within some area in Shanghai.
In October, Alphabet’s Waymo said it would start opening up for the public in Phoenix to its unmanned transportation service.
At the same time, Chinese technology giant Baidu(BIDU) also announced that anyone could try its robotaxi service in a designated area in Beijing.
AutoX already has more than 100 robotaxis deployed in five Chinese cities. For instance, these cities include Shanghai and Wuhan. AutoX aims to double its reach to more than 10 local cities subsequently.
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