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Pony.ai and Baidu obtain approval to check L4 robotaxis in Beijing


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Pony.ai robotaxi in Beijing. | Credit score: Pony.ai

Pony.ai and Baidu introduced that they’ve been issued a totally driverless autonomous automobile street take a look at allow by the Beijing Clever Linked Car Coverage Pilot Zone.

With this new allow, Pony.ai will take a look at ten driverless robotaxis within the pilot zone in Yizhuang, Beijing, over an space of 20 sq. kilometers (7.7 sq. miles). The Pony.ai robotaxis will likely be examined in troublesome visitors conditions in cities. The autonomous automobiles will likely be examined with out anybody within the automobile; a security officer will monitor the take a look at automobiles remotely. As with the opposite regulatory approvals in Beijing over the previous 12 months, Pony.ai is certainly one of solely two AV firms to get approval within the first group.

Along with receiving the driverless allow in Beijing, Pony.ai obtained a allow in April 2022 to start testing totally driverless automobiles in Guangzhou, laying the groundwork for future driverless purposes and industrial operations.

Over the previous 12 months, the Beijing Clever Linked Car Coverage Pilot Zone has introduced numerous industry-leading autonomous driving insurance policies in succession. In October 2021, the pilot zone opened up autonomous driving unmanned street exams for the primary time and divided “autonomous” testing into three phases:

  1. No one behind the steering wheel however there’s a security operator within the passenger seat
  2. No one within the entrance row, however with a security operator within the again row
  3. “Absolutely driverless” – this covers the allow for autonomous testing in Beijing

To enter this third stage, AV take a look at automobiles must have met strict technical and operational necessities reminiscent of take a look at mileage and disengagement charge; Pony.ai’s ten take a look at automobiles efficiently handed the exams with none questions of safety.

This authorization builds on different current autonomous driving milestones for Pony.ai in Beijing. In November 2022, Pony.ai obtained approval to check with a security operator within the again seat (stage two of the three phases). Pony.ai acquired permission to supply fare-charging robotaxi providers in 2022. It turned the primary and solely AV agency to accumulate a taxi license in China in April 2022.

The SAIC Marvel R mannequin will likely be geared up with the newest era of Pony.ai’s autonomous driving expertise. | Credit score: Pony.ai

Pony.ai lately introduced that it’s collaborating with SAIC AI Lab, a division of SAIC Motor (Shanghai Automotive Business Company), China’s largest auto producer to collectively discover and advance driverless expertise. Along with SAIC AI Lab, Pony.ai launched an idea automobile primarily based on the SAIC Marvel R mannequin and can construct out a fleet of autonomous automobiles geared up with Pony.ai’s L4-level driverless options, over time. 

Baidu desires to turn out to be the biggest robotaxi supplier on the earth

Apollo Go Absolutely Driverless Robotaxi Operating on Wuhan Public Street in Night Hours

Baidu has been providing ride-hailing providers with no human drivers since August 2022 within the cities of Chongqing and Wuhan, the place they’ll function over a whole bunch of sq. kilometers. Baidu will continue to grow its operational space into 2023 because it plans to create the biggest service space for totally driverless robotaxis on the earth. The corporate is planning so as to add 200 automobiles to its fleet in 2023.

A complete of 10 totally driverless take a look at automobiles will journey throughout a 20 sq. kilometer space in Beijing Yizhuang Financial Growth Zone, masking a sequence of complicated city street eventualities.

Baidu’s Apollo Go covers greater than 10 Chinese language cities, together with all first-tier cities. Apollo Go carried out 474,000 rides in Q3 2022, up 311% 12 months over 12 months and 65% from the earlier quarter. In first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, every Apollo Go robotaxi can provide 15 rides a day on common. Apollo Go had given 1.4 million rides by Q3 2022. As Baidu expands robotaxi service, it’s one step nearer to offering autonomous driving providers to extra folks and consolidating its main place within the worldwide autonomous ride-hailing market.

Earlier this week, Baidu additionally introduced a serious enlargement of its commercialized totally driverless robotaxi service in Wuhan, tripling the scale of its operation space, growing the variety of robotaxis in service and increasing working time to incorporate key night hours.

“Backed by its strong AI expertise, Baidu Apollo has created a secure, clever and environment friendly autonomous driving expertise system, bringing robotaxi providers from designated zones to open roads at scale,” stated Jingkai Chen, Baidu’s autonomous driving expertise professional on the occasion. The generalization capability of Baidu’s autonomous driving expertise has progressed at a extra superior tempo than anticipated. Now, the lead time to deploy autonomous driving expertise in a brand new metropolis is barely 20 days.

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