It looks like those robotaxis that were promised years ago are finally making their way onto the roads. The only problem is they aren’t Teslas – instead, they are products of Beijing’s internet search giant, Baidu.
The company, akin to Google in the U.S., received “the first permits to provide fully driverless ride-hailing services in a suburb of Beijing”, according to a Bloomberg wrap-up Friday morning. Baidu says it has plans of putting 10 robotaxis on the road to start in the Beijing Yizhuang Economic Development Zone, which Bloomberg notes is “roughly the size of Manhattan”.
The vehicles will have no human driver in the car. As a condition of the new permits, the company won’t be able to charge fees for rides yet. “Baidu won China’s first commercial licenses for fully humanless taxis in Wuhan and Chongqing” back in August, Bloomberg wrote.
In Yizhuang, the company already provides about 20 rides per day, per
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