Baidu Inc. has obtained licensing for commercial operation of its fully driverless ride-hailing service in Shenzhen. Baidu robotaxis are now authorized to provide ride-hailing service with no safety operator present in the car, making Shenzhen the fourth city in China where such service is available, following Wuhan, Chongqing and Beijing.
With this new license, Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxis will be allowed to operate across an area of 188 square kilometers in Shenzhen from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, catering to both morning and evening commuters. Users can conveniently access the service by using the Apollo Go app or mini-program, as well as Baidu Maps, Baidu App, and other platforms.
This expansion significantly broadens the scope of Baidu’s commercial fully driverless ride-hailing service operations nationwide and paves the way for future expansion to paying users across China.
In August 2022, Baidu received China’s first-ever permit to offer commercial fully driverless robotaxi services to the public on open roads, and Apollo Go began providing commercial robotaxi service in Chongqing and Wuhan, two of China’s largest megacities. In 2023, Baidu plans to put an additional 200 fully driverless robotaxis into operation and operate the world’s biggest fully driverless ride-hailing area, contributing to the rapid and high-quality development of China’ autonomous driving industry.
Apollo Go has received highly positive feedback from users, with an average user rating of 4.9 out of 5 on the Apollo Go app in Q1 2023, with 97.12% of ratings being a full 5 points. The platform has also seen rapid growth in its active user base and user engagement. In 2022, the number of active users nearly doubled from a year earlier, and the percentage of users who took rides more than 4 days per month increased by 8.06% from the previous year. Over 2 million rides accumulated by Q1 2023. Apollo Go is the world’s largest autonomous ride-hailing service provider.