Baidu's self-driving unit Apollo plans to put an additional 200 fully driverless vehicles into operation in China in 2023 to create the world's largest driverless operations service area.
(Image credit: Baidu)
Baidu's (NASDAQ: BIDU) self-driving unit Apollo plans to put an additional 200 fully driverless vehicles into operation in China in 2023 to create the world's largest driverless operations service area, the tech giant announced today.
Baidu is one of the first Chinese companies to venture into the exploration of autonomous driving technology, with more than 40 million kilometers of cumulative L4 autonomous driving testing to date, according to figures it announced today.
On November 29, Baidu announced that it plans to scale up its Apollo operations in 2023, with fully unmanned autonomous driving operations in more regions.
Baidu will build the world's largest fully driverless robotaxi service area in 2023, maintaining its growth momentum as the world's largest robotaxi provider, the company said at the time.
Currently, the Apollo Go mobility service platform is already providing self-driving services in cities including Beijing, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Chongqing, where it has achieved self-driving commercial services in Chongqing and Wuhan with no safety personnel in the vehicle.
Baidu previously announced plans to expand its self-driving mobility services to 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.
In the third quarter, Apollo Go provided 474,000 rides, up 311 percent year-on-year and up 65 percent from the second quarter, according to Baidu's earnings report released on November 22.
By the end of the third quarter, Apollo Go had provided more than 1.4 million rides.
Along with the announcement of its 2023 plans, Baidu also announced today that its fully unmanned self-driving commercial operations in Wuhan saw a significant increase in scope as well as hours.
Apollo Go now operates over 130 square kilometers in Wuhan, covering a population of one million, the company said.
Apollo Go's fully unmanned vehicles have tripled their area of operation coverage and expanded their operating hours to 7:00-23:00 in some areas, Baidu said.
Wuhan is one of the most supportive Chinese cities for autonomous driving technology, with more than 400 kilometers of open test roads.
Apollo Go's service became available in Wuhan in May and it began offering fully unmanned self-driving commercial operations in August.