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Wuhan to expand road test area for driverless vehicles

Gabriella From Gasgoo| January 13 , 2023 18:56 BJT

Beijing (Gasgoo)- On January 12, Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei Province, disclosed its plan to open up its fifth-batch intelligent connected vehicle test roads, which span roughly 344km in total.

Wuhan to expand road test area for driverless vehicles

Baidu Robotaxi in Wuhan; photo credit: Baidu

The roads to be opened in Wuhan are all located in Wuhan’s Economic and Development Zone. After the roads are cleared for road tests, the zone will become the fourth area in China to support intelligent connected vehicles road tests in its entire area. So far, it has opened a total of over 660km of various open test roads, covering about 490 square kilometers of the whole area of the zone. 

At the same time, Baidu's autonomous driving service platform "Apollo Go" has launched fully unmanned Robotaxis for commercial operation in Wuhan. With more authorized operational roads opening, additional unmanned Robotaxis will also be deployed by Baidu. The company plans to bring up the size of its unmanned driving fleet to more than 100 vehicles soon. 

Since 2022, following favorable policies, Baidu Apollo has been actively promoting the expansion and layout of self-driving vehicles in terms of volume, operation reach, and operating hours. Baidu took the opportunity to land its Apollo Go Robotaxi service in Wuhan in May 2022 and kicked off fully-autonomous driverless commercial operation in August 2022, which was also the first of its kind nationwide. By December, Baidu’s unmanned Robotaxi service area in the city has been doubled in size. At the same time, the Robotaxi’s evening service hours has been further expanded to 7 p.m.-23 p.m. in Wuhan’s Junshan New Town to meet the local mobility needs at night.

After the fifth-batch roads are opened, Baidu’s authorized service coverage in Wuhan will exceed 530 square kilometers in total.

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