AutoX operates China’s largest fully driverless RoboTaxi service area in Shenzhen
Published: Nov 16, 2021 02:03 PM
An AutoX RoboTaxi in October in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province Photo: Courtesy of AutoX

An AutoX RoboTaxi in October in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province Photo: Courtesy of AutoX

Chinese start-up AutoX, backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced on Tuesday that it now operates the country's largest service area for fully driverless RoboTaxis across 168 square kilometers of Shenzhen, the leading tech hub in South China's Guangdong Province.

Being able to navigate all the public roads in Pingshan district in Shenzhen, AutoX has become the first RoboTaxi service to cover an entire district in a major Chinese city.

Service areas for driverless RoboTaxis are zones where RoboTaxis can safely provide service. For RoboTaxi, or robotic ride-hail vehicle, it can be described as a self-driving Uber-style service where users can order a car with an app on the phone and ride elsewhere by paying fees.

In January this year, AutoX became the second company in the world to offer a fully driverless RoboTaxi service when it launched a pilot service in Shenzhen. 

After 10 months of operation, the service area in Shenzhen gradually expanded to become the largest fully driverless RoboTaxi zone in China. 

In tandem with the announcement, AutoX released a new video of its driverless RoboTaxi navigating the expanded service area - driving through the commercial center of Shenzhen, arriving at its high-speed train station, and pulling up to the curb in front of a long line of parked vehicles dropping off passengers. 

From a commercial point of view, RoboTaxi is the most promising area for autonomous driving, industry analysts said. But at present, RoboTaxi fleets generally adopt the system marked by a human driver and autonomous driving technology, causing the operation costs at high level, thus the removal of human drivers is key to commercialization.

Apart from RoboTaxi, many autonomous driving players have begun exploring other commercially viable paths to achieve mass adoption of the technology as early as possible including mini-buses and trucks.