Baidu claims its robotaxis rival conventional ride-hailing in components of China
Baidu obtained approval to cost fares for its robotaxi rides within the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang in November 2021.
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BEIJING — Chinese language tech firm Baidu mentioned its robotaxi enterprise in giant cities is near gaining the identical traction with locals as conventional ride-hailing companies.
Throughout the third quarter, every of Baidu’s self-driving taxis accomplished a mean of greater than 15 rides a day in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, CEO Robin Li mentioned Tuesday, in line with a FactSet transcript of the earnings name.
“Based on our information, this quantity is sort of near the common each day rides for conventional ride-hailing companies,” Li mentioned. He didn’t share what number of automobiles have been in every native fleet.
For comparability, journeys per lively automobile on ride-hailing apps in New York Metropolis averaged about 12 a day in September, in line with the most recent out there municipal knowledge.
In Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Baidu’s robotaxis — branded Apollo Go — can solely function in sure suburban areas.
The corporate didn’t say whether or not it might cost fares for its robotaxi rides in Guangzhou or Shanghai.
About 12 months in the past, Baidu gained Beijing metropolis’s approval to begin charging fares for robotaxi rides within the district of Yizhuang, about half an hour’s drive from the middle of the capital metropolis.
These rides nonetheless require a human employees member to take a seat within the automotive.
Nonetheless, this week Baidu mentioned it obtained approval from native Beijing authorities to check 10 robotaxis with none human employees within the entrance row.
Pony.ai, a start-up that additionally operates a robotaxi enterprise, mentioned it obtained related approval.
Each firms’ robotaxi rides in Beijing’s Yizhuang district stay closely sponsored. A CNBC verify of each Apollo Go and Pony.ai apps Wednesday discovered a reduction of greater than 80% was utilized.
Baidu has robotaxi operations in lots of cities in China, and might cost for fares in at the least seven, in line with the corporate.
Complete robotaxi journeys within the third quarter climbed by greater than 300% from a 12 months in the past to greater than 474,000 rides, the corporate mentioned Tuesday.
When requested throughout the earnings name when Apollo Go would break even, the corporate mentioned it believed the robotaxi will finally be worthwhile and cheaper than present ride-hailing companies, and that the impression of to Baidu’s general revenue and loss and money movement is “manageable.”