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Driverless ‘robotaxi’ service begins in Beijing, China


Driverless taxis, which are put into service in the Shougang Park area in Beijing, will take the users in this area to their destination without human intervention.

Tesla may be one of the first names that come to mind when it comes to driverless vehicle technologies, but Chinese Baidu is one of the companies that carries out serious work in this field. In fact, the company recently took one of the biggest steps in this regard and launched a completely driverless taxi service in Beijing.

The service, called Apollo Go Robotaxi, will initially serve in an area called Shougang Park in Beijing. The robotaxes that do not have a driver will take users to the gyms, work areas, cafes and hotels in this region. This area in Beijing will also be used in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Baidu’s driverless vehicles will also take part in the transportation of athletes and other officials.

So how does the system work? Users find the closest driverless taxi by entering the Apollo Go application on their smartphones. In the application in question, there is also a remote horn sounding feature to make the vehicle easier to recognize. When they reach the vehicle, they need to have a QR code and a health code read within the scope of coronavirus measures to open the doors.

When users enter the car, they start the process by clicking the ‘start the journey’ button. The driverless taxi makes sure that the doors are closed and the passengers’ seat belts are fastened before departure. When it does not detect any problem, it transports the passengers to the point they want to go without any human intervention.

At this point, it should be noted that Baidu has not abandoned the security issue completely. Because even if there is no driver in the vehicles, in emergency situations that require control, 5G remote driving service is activated and after this point, the control of the car passes to the person who directs it remotely.

Baidu’s vice president, Yunpeng Wang, said: “The introduction of driverless services is an indispensable step for the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. Today, in Beijing, but with the experience we have gained after conducting numerous scalable driverless tests in many cities for a long time, it is completely driverless we open the robotaxi services to the public. “

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