Baidu taxi bots can drive without a steering wheel, lower car price

Baidu unveiled on July 21, 2022, the sixth generation of its self-driving electric car designed for riding – at a cost nearly 50% less than a model announced last year.

Baidu

Beijing – the Chinese tech giant Baidu It announced Thursday that it has slashed the price of its robotic vehicles by nearly half, lowering the costs of the start-up business.

Baidu said the new vehicle, the Apollo RT6, is an electric vehicle that costs 250,000 yuan (about $37,313) to produce — without relying on a third-party manufacturer. This price is 48% lower than The manufacturing cost of 480,000 yuan was announced last year for the Apollo Moon, In partnership with the electric vehicle brand Arcfox of the state-owned BAIC Group.

The Apollo RT6 is set to begin work on China’s roads in the second half of next year as part of Baidu’s self-driving robotic business.

The company’s robotaxi business, called Apollo Go, has received the city of Beijing Approval in November to start collecting ride fare Within the suburban area. However, the human employee must remain seated in the vehicle.

In April, municipal authorities relaxed restrictions About whether an employee should sit in the driver’s seat, paving the way for the entire taxi driver cost to be eliminated. It remains unclear when the Chinese government will allow robots to charge for trips without any human personnel in the vehicles.

We’re moving toward a future where riding robots will be half the cost of riding a taxi today.

Read more about electric cars from CNBC Pro

The company said that Apollo Go operates in 10 cities in China, with plans to reach 65 cities by 2025, and 100 cities in 2030.

In addition to Baidu, startups such as pony And the we ride Testing robotaxi business in China.

To expand into China, companies need to test automated bots and obtain licenses in every city they want to operate in, Elinor Leung, managing director of Asia Communications and Internet Research at CLSA, told CNBC earlier this week.

For cities to learn about each other’s test records, she said, robotics companies will need to raise more money to test more cars in different cities.

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