Apollo is an open platform of Baidu’s autonomous driving technology; it is becoming one of the key growth drivers of Baidu.
China’s search engine and artificial intelligence giant Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) recently received 10 driverless car licenses from the Beijing government, bringing the total of such licenses to 20.
The firm said it will add another 20 autonomous cars to its driverless fleet. Meanwhile, Baidu also said it has increased the number of pick-up locations to about 300 in Yizhuang of suburban Beijing.
The 10 unmanned vehicles employ the Apollo Moon Arcfox model, which is Baidu’s fifth-generation self-driving cars, and it upgraded human-computer interactions.
Moreover, the test-drive mileage of Apollo Moon reached 18 million kilometers in 2021, and Baidu’s budget robotaxi has a per-vehicle production cost of CNY 480,000 (USD 75,032), which is only one-third of the cost of an average L4 autonomous car.
LuoboKuaipao, a robotaxi platform owned by Baidu, says it provides services in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Meanwhile, in Q4 2021, it completed 213,000 orders.
Robotaxi is a new industry with already budding competition, and Baidu finds itself up against opponents such as WeRide (Chinese: 文远知行), Pony. ai (Chinese: 小马智行) and DIDI.