Shanghai (Gasgoo)- On August 17, AutoX, an autonomous vehicle startup, publicly launched its self-driving taxi service in Shanghai. The public can book the service, called RoboTaxi, via AutoNavi, a mapping and transportation-booking app.
To order the service, what customers need to do is just input the starting place and destination. And then the system will dispatch a vehicle of its fleet from nearby. The vehicle will drive to the designated place to pick up the customer before the system confirms his identity. Then the journey begins.
During the journey, customers can check a lot of information through in-car screen, such as the driving route, system’s object detection and decisions. Upon arriving at the destination, the system will give a reminder to passengers. To ensure the safety at the initial stage, every autonomous vehicle from the fleet will have a safety driver on the driver’s seat to take over the vehicle in case of emergency.
Since February 2017, AutoX has obtained state authority in California to test autonomous vehicles with safety drivers. Last month, the start-up said it has been granted a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test without a safety driver on public roads, the third one to get the permit after Nuro and Waymo. Besides, the permit also gave the company right to test with passengers.
Currently, AutoX operates a robotaxi fleet in Shenzhen and Shanghai. In 2019, it announced partnership with the City of Shanghai to launch 100 RoboTaxi vehicles to build the largest RoboTaxi pilot zone in China. Besides, the company has also received autonomous driving permits in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. In April, the company opened a RoboTaxi Operations Center in Shanghai to serve as the largest data hub for self-driving car data in Asia.
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