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Alibaba’s AutoNavi, AutoX co-launch Robotaxi service in Shanghai

Monika From Gasgoo| April 27 , 2020 17:12 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Shanghai residents are now able to experience self-driving taxi rides through a major ride-hailing platform operated by AutoNavi, an Alibaba-backed digital mapping, navigation and location-based service provider.

The Robotaxi service came after this week's launch of a project jointly initiated by AutoNavi and AutoX, a Shenzhen-headquartered autonomous driving startup.

Starting from Monday at Jiading District of Shanghai, users can sign up for a ride via AutoNavi's Amap app amid a month-long trial operation, and then the service will be open to the general public, according to a local media report.

AutoNavi Alibaba Auto X, AutoX Shanghai Robotaxi, China automotive news

A commuter can hail a Robotaxi by imputing his places of departure and destination on the app and selecting the “AutoX” under the “Comfort”, an option of vehicle type. The app's algorithm will determine which vehicle to be dispatched based on the passenger's location.

It is worth mentioning that the vehicle is able to pick up passengers at a proper place nearby them, unlike other Robotaxis which are merely allowed to stop at some fixed spots.

Running on roads the self-driving car is capable of recognizing traffic lights, surrounding vehicles, pedestrians and roadside facilities, and mapping out a suitable route to passenger's demands. Besides, the system can inform passengers of the driving speed, the status of traffic lights and the vehicle turning, etc.

In accordance with the existing regulations, a human driver is still required to sit behind the steering wheel.

The Lincoln MKZ sedan equipped with AutoX's mass-produced hardware system has been adopted as the major carrier, and 30 cars are set to be put into the first-phase project, according to the local report, citing AutoX. In the future, the service will extend to more cities in addition to Shanghai with more models from different brands added.

AutoNavi Alibaba Auto X, AutoX Shanghai Robotaxi, China automotive news

AutoX formed strategic cooperation with Jiading's government on August 31, 2019 to build China's first demonstration zone for pilot operation of Robotaxi service. In last December, the startup was given green light to road test its autonomous vehicles in Shanghai (photo source: AutoX's WeChat account).

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