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Beijing begins pilot for paid robotaxi services
Published on: 2021-11-26
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Baidu can start collecting robotaxi fares in a part of Beijing from Thursday, marking a major step toward building its driverless taxi business.

Approval from China’s capital marks the first time such a large city in the country has allowed companies to charge the public for robotaxi rides.

Effective Thursday, Baidu’s Apollo unit that runs the robotaxi business can collect fares from passengers taking one of 67 self-driving cars in Beijing’s suburban district of Yizhuang.

While the company did not disclose exact pricing, it said fares would be comparable with the premium level ride-hailing charges available through apps like Didi, which can cost twice as much as ordinary rides.

Baidu has offered free robotaxi rides in Yizhuang since October 2020. As of Wednesday, the robotaxi app, branded “Luobo Kuaipao,” showed a sample fare of 34 yuan for a 3-kilometer ride from a Sam’s Club in Yizhuang to a nearby subway station.

The same route costs about 14 yuan through Didi’s basic express car service. Didi’s sample premium level fare for the same route is 27 yuan.








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