Baidu says it can now operate robotaxis in Beijing with no human staff inside

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Chinese tech company Baidu announced Monday it can sell some robotaxi rides without any human staff in the vehicles.

Baidu

BEIJING — Chinese tech company Baidu announced Friday it can now operate robotaxis in a part of the capital city of Beijing with no human staff or driver inside.

The move eliminates the labor cost for operating self-driving taxis — up to the permitted number of cars.

The government approval initially covers 10 vehicles in the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang, which is home to many corporations such as JD.com.

The suburb is the primary site of Baidu’s robotaxi public road testing and operation in Beijing city. In November 2021, local authorities allowed Baidu and rival robotaxi operator Pony.ai to charge fares for rides.

Public transport users can book heavily subsidized robotaxi rides through the companies’ apps.

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Baidu shares 12-month performance.

Baidu shares briefly soared by more than 15% during Hong Kong trading on Friday.

The stock closed at eight-week lows Thursday after the company revealed its artificial intelligence-powered Ernie bot, a Chinese-language rival to ChatGPT. CEO Robin Li said the company’s Ernie bot was not perfect, and emphasized the need to improve the product.

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