Monday, July 6, 2020

Robo-Taxis on the Streets of China... by the millions?

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing says it plans to operate more than a million self-driving vehicles by 2030. The robo-taxis are to be deployed in places where ride-hailing drivers are less available, according to Meng Xing, Didi’s chief operating officer, speaking at an online conference hosted by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper.

In 2016, US tech giant Apple invested $1bn in Didi in an unusually large and public investment. Apple is known to be interested in autonomous driving, having tested its own driverless vehicle on public roads in California in recent years.

The local government in Shanghai awarded Didi a permit to test its autonomous vehicles on public roads in Jiading District of Shanghai. The company says it plans to expand beyond that district starting in 2021, deploying “30 different models of L4 autonomous vehicles.” (L4 means Level 4 on the Society of Automotive Engineers scale of autonomy, which means the vehicle is able to operate without any human intervention within a defined geographic area.)

It wasn't that long ago that the company experimented with autonomous vehicles... read more here...

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