Baidu’s Apollo Launches Driverless Transportation Service in China

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Baidu’s Apollo is one of the pioneers of self-driving autonomous cars

Baidu has completed more than 10 million kilometers of autonomous tests
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Baidu has completed more than 10 million kilometers of autonomous tests

Technical news

Baidu’s Apollo has joined AutoX, owned by Alibaba, and Waymo, owned by Alphabet, to deploy a driverless phone service. Last week, the Baidu subsidiary launched its autonomous driverless carpooling service in the Chinese capital Beijing. It is the first to operate on a large scale in China, which shouldn’t be surprising. Baidu has a long tradition of following Google’s path and after the mountain view-based company developed self-derived car technology, Baidu would soon follow its muse.

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Baidu calls the Apollo Go Robotaxi service and it opens in Shougang Park, one of the venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and will transport visitors to the games.

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Google Waymo operates a similar ridesharing service in the US state of Arizona

“The introduction of unmanned services is an essential step for the commercialization of autonomous driving. Today we are opening the fully driverless robotaxi services to the public in Beijing, which we only achieved after conducting countless scalable driverless tests in many cities over a long period of time. Said Yunpeng Wang, vice president and general manager of autonomous driving technology at Baidu.

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“In the future, Baidu Apollo will launch driverless robot taxis in more cities, enabling the public to access greener, low-carbon and convenient travel services, while continuing to improve the service process without driver and user experience, ”he said. “Commercialization of autonomous driving can effectively reduce congestion and help achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in China,” he added.

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Users will be able to hail a robotaxi using an app

Users will be able to access the robotaxis using the app. It offers virtual reality navigation, remote car horns. To unlock the car, users will need to scan a QR code and health code for identity verification and pandemic prevention. You will also need to press a button to ‘start the trip’ and the system will also make sure the seat belts are on and the doors closed.

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The vehicles will take advantage of the 5G networks that are prevalent in China. 5G remote driving assistance is present at all times to allow human operators to remotely access vehicles in an emergency.
Baidu has been testing its robotaxis since last October. Apollo has completed over 10 million kilometers of road tests for autonomous driving.

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