Baidu unveiled on July 21, 2022, the sixth era of its self-driving electrical automobile constructed for ride-hailing rides — at a price practically 50% beneath that of a mannequin introduced final 12 months.
BEIJING — Chinese language tech big Baidu introduced Thursday it has lower the worth of its robotaxi automobiles by practically half, reducing prices for a nascent enterprise.
The brand new car, the Apollo RT6, is an electrical automobile that prices 250,000 yuan (about $37,313) to supply — with out counting on a third-party producer, Baidu mentioned. That value is 48% lower than the 480,000 yuan manufacturing value introduced final 12 months for the Apollo Moon, made in partnership with state-owned BAIC Group’s Arcfox electrical automobile model.
The Apollo RT6 is ready to start out working on China’s roads within the second half of subsequent 12 months below Baidu’s self-driving robotaxi enterprise.
The corporate’s robotaxi enterprise, known as Apollo Go, acquired Beijing metropolis’s approval in November to start charging fares for rides inside a suburban district. Nonetheless, a human employees member should nonetheless sit within the automobile.
In April, municipal authorities loosened restrictions on whether or not the employees member needed to sit within the driver’s seat, paving the way in which to completely eliminating the price of a taxi driver. It stays unclear when the Chinese language authorities would enable robotaxis to cost fares for rides with none human employees within the automobiles.
Baidu mentioned the corporate goals to supply 100,000 Apollo RT6 automobiles over an unspecified time frame.
“This large value discount will allow us to deploy tens of hundreds of [autonomous driving vehicles] throughout China,” Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, mentioned in a press release. “We’re transferring in direction of a future the place taking a robotaxi will probably be half the price of taking a taxi immediately.”
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.
Along with Baidu, start-ups similar to Pony.ai and WeRide are testing robotaxi companies in China.
To broaden in China, firms want to check robotaxis and acquire licenses in every metropolis they need to function in, Elinor Leung, managing director of Asia telecom and web analysis at CLSA, advised CNBC earlier this week.
Till cities acknowledge one another’s testing data, robotaxi firms might want to elevate more cash to check extra automobiles in numerous cities, she mentioned.