Baidu is stepping up its efforts to achieve autonomous driving. Chinese tech company Baidu, known for its search engines, still relies heavily on search advertising for revenue. However, the company hopes that big bets on autonomous driving will be rewarded in the future.
Baidu’s robot taxi service, Apollo Go, aims to roll out in 65 cities by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030, said Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li. He spoke at a telephone conference for analysts on November 18, local time.
This means that Baidu must obtain a large number of licenses from local regulators. And ultimately, how many of these permits allow Apollo Go to do commercial activities and how many rides the service can actually collect will determine the sustainability of this business. become.
So far, Lee estimates that Baidu is “probably the world‘s largest robot taxi service provider in terms of passenger numbers.” In the third quarter alone, Baidu provided 115,000 rides, and he expects fourth-quarter rides to be “much more than you’ve heard anywhere in the world.” doing.
In terms of improving driving skills, Baidu has achieved more than 16 million kilometers of L4 (self-propelled) mileage so far. This is an increase from the 6.2 million miles mentioned in the first quarter report.
However, these enormous numbers are meaningless unless you know how much you are actually driving on busy urban roads rather than designated routes in closed areas.
Like many autonomous vehicle companies in China, Baidu is developing a robotic taxi business while providing advanced driving assistance technology to automakers and OEMs.
Since 2017, Baidu has been providing driving solutions to auto companies through the open source Apollo platform. The platform has accumulated hundreds of corporate users, but the company has fostered close relationships with specific partners. For example, a joint venture with Geely in China was established to establish Jidu Auto, an electric vehicle manufacturer, and a partner company invested 50 billion yuan ($ 7.7 billion / about 894 billion yen). There is.
Image credit: Baidu
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(Sentence: Rita Liao, Translation: Akihito Mizukoshi)