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8 Aug, 2022
1 min time to read

Chinese internet giant Baidu received approval to offer a fully driverless commercial robotaxi service in Chongqing and Wuhan using the company’s autonomous ride-hailing unit, Apollo Go.

Previously, Baidu had secured the same permit from the authorities in Beijing. The difference is that, the service in Beijing is still not a commercial one and requires a human operator in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

When Baidu launches in Wuhan and Chongqing, it’ll be the first time an autonomous vehicle company is able to offer a fully driverless ride-hailing service in China, Baidu claimed. Meanwhile in the U.S., Cruise recently began offering a driverless commercial service in San Francisco, and Waymo has been offering one in Arizona since 2020.

Both Wuhan and Chongqing will have a fleet of five Apollo 5th generation robotaxis. In Wuhan, the service will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and cover a 13 square kilometer area in the city’s Economic and Technological Development zone known as China’s ‘Auto City.’ Chongqing’s service will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in a 30 square kilometer area in Yongchuan District.