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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.
 

北京:自动驾驶付费出行全国首次落地

11月25日,北京市高级别自动驾驶示范区工作办公室公布,北京正式开放全国首个自动驾驶出行服务商业化试点。
 

百度和小马智行成为首批获许开展商业化试点服务的企业,并拿到了各自的自动驾驶车辆收费通知书。在经开区的60平方公里范围内,它们将投入不超过100辆自动驾驶车辆来测试自己的服务。
 

这也意味着,自动驾驶终于有机会看看自己到底是不是一门好生意,而进入商业化运营阶段后,整个行业也正式开启了下半场。
 

当前试点服务的上下车环节需由乘客走到固定站点,而非自己随意设置。百度自动驾驶商业运营负责人王胜男表示,站点之间间隔300至500米,用户步行即可到达,这背后有对违停地段、绿化带和事故高发点进行规避,总体出于对乘客安全的考虑。
 

对于消费者关心的定价问题,试点服务似乎并不昂贵。报道称此次自动驾驶商业化试点服务的整体定价,参考了专车和网约车的定价机制,并且初期优惠力度会非常大。王胜男表示,这一阶段需要让用户接触和认可其整体服务体验,给予真实的用户反馈。
 

试点开放当天,一位北京亦庄居民使用百度Apollo自动驾驶出行服务平台“萝卜快跑”完成了首单付费。百度表示,这是公司也是自动驾驶商业化的第一笔付费订单。

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