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Baidu, Pony.ai approved for robotaxi services in Beijing

SHANGHAI, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Chinese tech group Baidu Inc and self-driving startup Pony.ai have received approval to launch paid driverless robotaxi services that may see the corporations deploy no more than 100 automobiles in an space in China’s capital Beijing.

The state-backed Beijing Daily newspaper reported on the approvals on Thursday, citing a ceremony held by the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, the place the 60 sq. kilometre-large space (23 sq. miles) is situated.

Baidu mentioned in an announcement that this could be its Apollo Go service’s first industrial deployment on open roads.

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Customers will have the ability to hail one of many day by day service’s 67 automobiles at greater than 600 pick-up and drop-off factors in each industrial and residential areas, it mentioned. It will cost fares just like the extent of premium ride-hailing services in China, a Baidu spokesperson added.

Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), additionally confirmed that it had obtained the approval for its Xiaoma Zhixing service from Beijing on its official Weibo account.

Automakers and know-how corporations are investing billions of {dollars} in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many think about the way forward for mobility.

Baidu in May launched paid driverless robotaxi services in a a lot smaller space of two.7 sq. kilometres in Beijing’s Shougang Park. The firm is aiming for the Apollo Go service to be in 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030, its CEO Robin Li mentioned throughout its newest quarterly outcomes.

Last week, Chinese autonomous automobile startup AutoX, which is backed by Alibaba Group (9988.HK) mentioned it had expanded its robotaxi zone in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen to develop into the nation’s largest absolutely driverless robotaxi zone, at 65 sq. miles (168 sq. km).

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Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

A logo of Pony.ai is seen on a Lexus vehicle equipped with the company's autonomous driving system, which will serve as a robotaxi, in Beijing, China May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

Baidu's Apollo car with an autonomous driving system, which serves for self-driving taxi services, is seen at the Shougang Industry Park in Beijing, China July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

A logo of Pony.ai is seen on a Lexus vehicle equipped with the company's autonomous driving system, which will serve as a robotaxi, in Beijing, China May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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