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Baidu’s robotaxis don’t need any human staff in these parts of China


Chinese tech company Baidu announced Monday it could actually sell some robotaxi rides with none human staff within the vehicles.


BEIJING — Chinese tech company Baidu said Monday it has change into the primary robotaxi operator in China to acquire permits for selling rides with no human driver or staff member contained in the vehicles.

The local government approvals allow Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi business to eliminate the associated fee of human personnel in some instances.

The initial scale of the permits is small: 10 robotaxis divided between two suburban areas of Wuhan and Chongqing, two major Chinese cities.

In April, Baidu and rival robotaxi operator Pony.ai received approval from a Beijing suburban district to operate robotaxis with no human driver. However the Chinese capital still requires human staff to sit down within the robotaxi with passengers.

Municipal authorities across China have issued an increasing variety of permits within the last yr that allow robotaxi firms to operate and charge fares in chosen areas.

Within the U.S., Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motors’ subsidiary Cruise can already run public robotaxis with no human staff within the vehicles. Laws for testing robotaxis and charging riders vary by city and state.

Baidu claimed it has received multiple million orders for robotaxi rides. In the primary three months of the yr, the corporate said it operated 196,000 rides. Baidu is about to release second quarter results on Aug. 30.

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