China technology company Baidu launches self-driving ‘Robot Taxi Service’ with free rides in Beijing.
Only riders between the ages of 18 and 60 can enjoy this free ride service. Each trip will only be limited to two passengers.
Baidu’s free service comes days after Cruise received permit to remove the human backup drivers from its self-driving cars.
Chinese multinational technology company Baidu has commenced its first autonomous driving taxi service in China’s capital, Beijing, with free rides.
The free ride service called Apollo Go Robotaxi, officially began operations in the Beijing on Sunday, and it will be available until Nov. 6.
Baidu is offering this free rides without a reservation in Haidian District in northwestern Beijing and Yizhuang Development Area in southeastern Beijing.
Consumers simply need to book free rides using the company’s Baidu Maps app and its proprietary Apollo Go App.
Currently, only riders between the ages of 18 and 60 can enjoy this free ride service. Each trip will only be limited to two passengers.
Although, Baidu claims its robotic taxis are much safer than modified self-driving vehicles, this free rides will be driven under human supervision to ensure driving safety.
Baidu also unveiled its 5G Remote Driving Service during the launch of its service in Beijing. The 5G Remote Driving Service allows human operators to take over control of the vehicle through the cloud in case of emergencies.
Baidu’s free services comes days after Cruise received permit to remove the human backup drivers from its self-driving cars.
Cruise has been testing about 180 self-driving cars in San Francisco with a safety driver behind the wheel.