Chinese self-driving startup AutoX has joined the ranks of Chinese tech companies which are racing to get their autonomous taxis on the road.
According to a statement emailed to Caixin, AutoX is trialing its “robotaxi” service in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai, allowing commuters to hail autonomous rides through Alibaba-backed navigation app Amap.
The company’s driverless taxis, which can run at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour on city streets, are powered by 5G-based “vehicle-to-everything” technology, which enables the vehicles to interact with road infrastructure like traffic lights and to collect road condition information, the statement said. A human driver is still present in the car and can take over the controls in case of an emergency.
The robotaxi service is now available in Shanghai’s Jiading district, and only to users who have signed up. The service will be open to the general public after the trial, the statement added.
The announcement comes two weeks after AutoX opened an operations center in Shanghai, which houses equipment to run a fleet of autonomous taxis and doubles as a data center for storing information collected from the vehicles’ daily operations and cloud computers running round-the-clock simulations of virtual tests.
Last week, Baidu started trial operations of its robotaxi fleet in Changsha, the capital city of central China’s Hunan province, where users can hail the company’s autonomous taxis through Baidu’s own navigation app Baidu Maps.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)