Chinese search engine and autonomous driving giant Baidu's smart driving unit Apollo continues to lead the charge on autonomous driving testing.
Beijing's Joint Working Group on Autonomous Driving Test Management recently issued 10 phase II unmanned road test notifications to Baidu Apollo, making it the first autonomous driving company in China to receive this permit.
Baidu Apollo was approved to conduct unmanned Phase 1 tests on Beijing's open roads on Dec. 4, 2020.
Over the past six months of testing, Baidu Apollo has put its experience gained in semi-closed areas of several cities into the more complex scenarios of open roads, maintaining a record of 0 accidents in over 48,000 kilometers of fully driverless testing.
Beijing was one of the first cities in China to establish road testing standards for autonomous driving and issue testing licenses; as of May, autonomous vehicle road testing has safely driven more than 2,296,700 km in Beijing.
Baidu Apollo has been the company with the highest number of test vehicles and longest test mileage in Beijing for three consecutive years.
Baidu Apollo is also the only company to have been granted a T4 level testing license in Beijing and is the only company to have conducted open road unmanned testing in Beijing and has entered the second phase.
Baidu Apollo's manned test in Beijing is fully open in October 2020, with multiple regions opening up to the public for large-scale Robotaxi test operations.
The Beijing Policy Pilot Zone issued China's first autonomous driving night and special weather testing qualifications to Baidu Apollo in April 2021.
From May 2, Baidu Apollo launched test operations for complex scenarios such as morning and evening rush hours, nighttime, and heavy rainfall driving.
On the same day, Baidu Apollo opened fully driverless manned commercial operations in semi-enclosed areas including the Beijing Shougang Park to explore the unmanned mobilization and commercialization of Robotaxi travel services.
On June 17, Baidu Apollo, together with Arcfox, released Apollo Moon, a new generation of mass-produced shared unmanned vehicles for scaled operations.
Baidu said the Apollo Moon, including the vehicle and driverless kit, costs only CNY 480,000 yuan (USD 75,000), one-third of the average cost of an L4 self-driving model, paving the way for large-scale commercialization.