Chinese self-driving start-up AutoX passes 1,000-vehicle milestone for its RoboTaxi fleet
Published: Feb 09, 2022 02:49 PM
A view of an AutoX RoboTaxi in San Francisco Photo: Courtesy of AutoX

A view of an AutoX RoboTaxi in San Francisco Photo: Courtesy of AutoX

Chinese start-up AutoX, backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced on Wednesday that its RoboTaxi fleet has grown to more than 1,000 vehicles, marking a milestone for both the company and the autonomous driving industry as it has become the largest taxi fleet of its kind in China.

The fleet is mainly concentrated in China's four first-tier cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and Shenzhou, in South China's Guangdong Province. 

As of February, AutoX's RoboTaxi autonomous driving domain has totaled over 1,000 square kilometers. 

Scaling beyond 1,000 RoboTaxis represents a significant leap forward for the automaker's commercialization. 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 a relatively higher operation cost, so the removal of human drivers is key to players' future commercial success.

In July 2021, AutoX's newest Gen5 system-equipped RoboTaxis started rolling off the production line. In January, AutoX shared an inside look at its end-of-line, Level 4 fully driverless RoboTaxis dedicated production facility located near Shanghai. 

The start-up has also opened a new US-based RoboTaxi operations center in San Francisco to expand self-driving vehicle testing in the western US city. Previously, AutoX RoboTaxis have been testing in the greater San Jose, California, since 2016.

"We want to deploy the AutoX RoboTaxi fleet in many cities to serve hundreds of millions of people, to improve our service and become a part of communities around the world. Cities such as San Francisco, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing are the launch-pads for RoboTaxis to transform people's daily lives. And that's just the beginning," said Xiao Jianxiong, founder and CEO of AutoX. 

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.