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Baidu says it can now operate the robot axis in Beijing with no human staff inside

March 20, 2023: On Friday, Chinese tech firm Baidu announced it can now operate a robot axis in a part of Beijing from China with no human staff or driver inside.

The move eliminates the labour cost for operating self-driving taxis up to the allowed number of cars.

The state approval initially covers ten vehicles in the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang, home to many institutions like

The suburb is the main site of Baidu’s robotaxi public road, tested and operated in Beijing. In November 2021, the local government let Baidu and rival robotaxi operator charge ride fares.

Public transport users book heavily invested robotaxi rides through the firms’ apps.

Since the third quarter, Baidu stated that in major Chinese metropolises, its self-driving taxis complete a range of more than 15 rides for each car per day, on par with traditional ride-hailing services.

Baidu stated in August it received a positive to operate a handful of vehicles without the driver and staff-less robot axis in suburbs of major Chinese cities such as Wuhan and Chongqing.

Related to the U.S., laws for testing robotaxis and demanding riders vary by city and state. The Waymo and General Motors subsidiary Cruise of Alphabets has invested in public robotaxi services in the U.S. with no human staff.

On Friday’s Hong Kong trading, Baidu shares briefly skyrocketed by more than 15%.

On Thursday, the stock closed at eight-week lows after the company unveiled its artificial intelligence-powered Ernie bot, a Chinese competitor to ChatGPT. CEO Robin Li stated that the firm’s Ernie bot was imperfect and emphasized the need to improve the product.

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Baidu says it can now operate the robot axis in Beijing with no human staff inside