Chinese internet giant, Baidu, has begun a public autonomous taxi service in Wuhan between 7am and 11am. During this time, taxis will have no safety drivers behind the wheel. Prior to this new stride in autonomous driving, the company was only able to operate its unmanned vehicles between 9am to 5pm. 

The new service is expected to offer services to one million customers in certain areas of Wuhan, a city which holds more than 10 million inhabitants.  

Back in August, Baidu began offering fully driverless robotaxi rides, charging passengers at taxi rates. The company uses a mix of third-party cameras, radar and lidar to help its cars see better in low visibility conditions. 

Th company has made big strides in the autonomous vehicle sector and has put a lot of effort into making their autonomous future arrive sooner than expected.  

In a press release made last year, Jizhou Huang, Baidu’s autonomous driving technology expert said, “Baidu’s new generation autonomous driving map is equipped with comprehensive capabilities such as automatic production, real-time fusion, and knowledge enhancement.” 

Wuhan is one of the first cities in the country to allow autonomous robotaxi’s transport the public without any in-car safety operators. Authorities are now becoming more comfortable with driverless cars taking the streets.  

Press release: Baidu