Baidu announced that it has expanded the commercial operation area and times of its driverless taxi service in central China’s Wuhan. The company’s autonomous ride-hailing platform Apollo Go has launched robotaxis at night in Wuhan for the first time, marking a new stage of the commercial operation of autonomous driving in China.
Currently, with over 50 fully driverless taxis in operation, Apollo Go has an operation area covering more than 130 square km in Wuhan. Meanwhile, the operation time in Junshan New City in Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone has been expanded to run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to meet the needs of citizens’ night travel.
The nighttime environment has always been one of the key technical difficulties in autonomous driving technology as it’s hard for vehicles to judge obstacles and pedestrians in dim light.
Baidu has launched a pilot service on Apollo Go in various Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. In recent years, China has rolled out a series of policies to promote the development and commercialization of self-driving technology.