Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) shares have climbed 6% premarket Tuesday after the company announced its plans to create the world’s largest fully driverless ride-hailing service area in 2023.
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The company made the announcement during its autonomous driving tech event, Apollo Day.
The Chinese technology firm outlined its goal to expand the operation area for its fully driverless robotaxis. The company already rolled out fully driverless ride-hailing services, with no drivers in the car, in August, in the cities of Chongqing and Wuhan, but now plans to expand the service.
The company’s autonomous ride-hailing platform Apollo Go covers over 10 cities in China, and in the third quarter, Baidu said it completed more than 474,000 rides, rising 311% year over year, and increasing 65% QoQ. In addition, the company explained that in “first-tier cities,” including Beijing and Shanghai, each robotaxi can provide around 15 rides a day on average.
“Backed by its solid AI technology, Baidu Apollo has created a safe, intelligent and efficient autonomous driving technology system, bringing robotaxi services from designated zones to open roads at scale,” Baidu’s autonomous driving technology expert Jingkai Chen said at the event.
Baidu also announced various new technologies, such as an AI big model built for autonomous driving perception, a closed-loop autonomous driving data system, high-definition autonomous driving maps, and end-to-end adaptation of AI chips for autonomous vehicles.