Chinese firms granted permit to provide driverless ride-hailing services in Beijing
Published: Mar 17, 2023 10:30 PM
An autonomous Apollo Robotaxi from Baidu in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province Photo: courtesy of Baidu

An autonomous Apollo Robotaxi from Baidu in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province Photo: Courtesy of Baidu

Chinese autonomous driving companies including Baidu and have been granted the first-ever permits to provide fully driverless ride-hailing services in the Chinese capital Beijing. This marks a major milestone worldwide, as it is the first-ever fully driverless fleet to be deployed in the capital city of any country.

Baidu Apollo said it will deploy a total of 10 fully driverless vehicles in Beijing Yizhuang Economic Development Zone. Yizhuang is one of the active centers of autonomous driving in China, with Apollo Go, Baidu's autonomous ride-hailing service platform, currently providing an average of more than 20 rides per vehicle per day within the area, surpassing the average ride volume of traditional online ride-hailing services.

Another autonomous driving technology company also told the Global Times on Friday that it was granted a permit to provide fully driverless ride-hailing services in Beijing. said it has deployed fully driverless vehicles tested on public roads in the Yizhuang area for three months, dealing with complex scenarios such as intersections and narrow roads, as well as extreme weather such as rain, snow and dust. The vehicles all have a good technical level and there have been zero accidents.

According to the Beijing Municipal Government Work Report for 2023, the city plans to expand the Beijing High-Level Automated Demonstration Area, located in the Yizhuang Economic Development Zone, beyond its existing 60 square kilometers area toward an eventual 500 square kilometers. The city is also exploring pathways to operate autonomous driving vehicles bridging the Yizhuang Economic Development Zone and the city's nearby airport, enabling commercial autonomous driving logistics operations serving the wider Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Baidu said it is currently the only company to provide fully driverless autonomous ride-hailing services in multiple cities across China, including Beijing, Wuhan and Chongqing. said it has launched fully driverless autonomous ride-hailing services in Beijing and Guangzhou. Prior to this, was awarded a permit to operate 100 autonomous vehicles as traditional taxis in Nansha in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province in April 2022.

Baidu has been developing autonomous driving technology since 2013 and has accumulated more than 50 million kilometers of testing mileage for Level 4 autonomous driving. The company currently holds over 4,600 patent families for autonomous driving technology, including the greatest number of high-level autonomous driving patents in the world.

Global Times