Baidu unveiled on July 21, 2022, the sixth technology of its self-driving electrical car constructed for ride-hailing rides — at a value almost 50% under that of a mannequin introduced final yr.
BEIJING — Chinese tech large Baidu introduced Thursday it has reduce the price of its robotaxi automobiles by almost half, reducing prices for a nascent enterprise.
The new automobile, the Apollo RT6, is an electrical car that prices 250,000 yuan (about $37,313) to supply — without counting on a third-party producer, Baidu mentioned. That price is 48% lower than the 480,000 yuan manufacturing cost announced last year for the Apollo Moon, made in partnership with state-owned BAIC Group’s Arcfox electrical car model.
The Apollo RT6 is ready to start out working on China’s roads within the second half of subsequent yr beneath Baidu’s self-driving robotaxi enterprise.
The firm’s robotaxi enterprise, known as Apollo Go, acquired Beijing metropolis’s approval in November to begin charging fares for rides inside a suburban district. However, a human employees member should nonetheless sit within the car.
In April, municipal authorities loosened restrictions on whether or not the employees member needed to sit within the driver’s seat, paving the best way to completely eliminating the price of a taxi driver. It stays unclear when the Chinese authorities would enable robotaxis to cost fares for rides without any human employees within the automobiles.
Baidu mentioned the corporate goals to supply 100,000 Apollo RT6 automobiles over an unspecified time period.
“This massive cost reduction will enable us to deploy tens of thousands of [autonomous driving vehicles] across China,” Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, mentioned in a assertion. “We are moving towards a future where taking a robotaxi will be half the cost of taking a taxi today.”
Apollo Go operates in 10 cities in China, with plans to succeed in 65 cities by 2025, and 100 cities in 2030, the corporate mentioned.
To increase in China, firms want to check robotaxis and procure licenses in every metropolis they wish to function in, Elinor Leung, managing director of Asia telecom and web analysis at CLSA, advised CNBC earlier this week.
Until cities acknowledge one another’s testing information, robotaxi firms might want to elevate extra money to check extra automobiles in numerous cities, she mentioned.