Tech

Robotaxis: China seeks fare advantage over the US

Beijing became the first capital to approve a large-scale experiment with tolling autonomous taxis on its roads. Chinese search giant Baidu and Toyota-backed self-driving start-up Pony.ai are now ready to operate a combined fleet of 100 cars. This license gives both companies a good start to rivals such as the Uber of the US.

Successful trials will bring us closer to an era where Robotaxi rides are part of everyday life in the city. They allow Baidu and Pony.ai to collect a wealth of data on driving conditions and passenger preferences. For ride-hailing service companies, autonomous taxis are a silver bullet to increase losses as labor costs rise.

Baidu holds two-thirds of the permit. The Robotaxi covers over 600 pickup and drop-off points in designated areas of Beijing, including commercial and residential buildings, from 7am to 10pm.

Due to the large size of the fleet and the large number of pickup points, both companies can improve their technology. Self-driving cars are allowed to be tested in California and Phoenix, Arizona, but the number of cars per company is usually much lower. The permission of others, such as Nuro, is for the purpose of shipping the goods only.

Baidu’s share rose 5% after falling 40% this year, following the approval of the license, reflecting the validation of the strategic shift. Baidu, which posted a net loss of $ 2.6 billion in the third quarter, has been fighting a slowdown in advertising revenue for over a decade.

We are lagging behind our local rivals Tencent and ByteDance in the transition from PC to mobile. In 2017, we made a big bet on self-driving through a $ 1.5 billion self-driving fund in partnership with local car makers BAIC and Geely.

Pony.ai’s personal assessment, which was about $ 5.3 billion in the last round of funding, should also be boosted. With Baidu, you have the opportunity to gain market share in ride-hailing service companies such as Didi, Uber and Lyft. But unfortunately, Robotaxi is not immediately ready for large-scale deployments for the Ride Hailing Group. Driver shortages are already a major problem in the United States.

The Lex team is interested in hearing more from our readers.In the comments section below, tell us what you think of the commercial outlook for Robotaxi.

Robotaxis: China seeks fare advantage over the US Source link Robotaxis: China seeks fare advantage over the US

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