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People in Beijing can now book a taxi with no one at the wheel

30.04.2022 08:50 AM
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People in Beijing can now book a taxi with no one at the wheel
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For the first time in China, people will be able to get a taxi ride without anyone behind the wheel.
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People in Beijing can now book a taxi with no one at the wheel
For the first time in China, people will be able to get a taxi ride without anyone behind the wheel.

Baidu (BIDU) and autonomous driving startup Pony.ai announced Thursday that they had won the country's first permits to provide robotaxi ride-hailing services to the public. The permits do not require an operator to sit in the driver's seat.

The services were introduced in Beijing on Thursday, and allow passengers to call for taxis using each company's respective apps during daylight hours.

For now, each company will be restricted to a designated area of 23 square miles, and they will have to keep an operator in the front passenger seat to take over in case of emergencies. Currently, the programs are being offered for free to riders.

The announcement marks a big step forward for self-driving technology in the world's largest car market.
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