Baidu Inc. has begun a multi-modal self-driving mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) that will use a fleet of Apollo robotaxis and robobuses for a smart on-demand transportation service in Guangzhou, China.
During the Chinese New Year holiday period, the robotaxis, robobuses and three other model types of autonomous vehicles will offer local users new transportation options in the city.
The Chinese electronics giant partnered with the Guangzhou Huangpu District government to roll out the MaaS platform to integrate an assortment of self-driving services to provide travel recommendations.
More than 40 self-driving vehicles will be used in Guangzhou including Baidu’s Apolong, Apollocop and New Species Vehicle. Additionally, citizens can make reservations on the Baidu Maps and Apollo Go mobile applications to request rides in these vehicles.
Baidu has established more than 50 robotaxi pickup stations in the district and a new fleet of New Species Vehicles will be used in the project. The Apolong minibuses will shuttle eager sightseers to the flower blossoms around parks and lakes. The Apollocop vehicles will patrol the main roads near key areas and the Baidu robobus will ferry passengers along fixed routes.
Baidu said the goal is to accelerate the arrival of intelligent transportation and the company plans to continue conducting regular trail operations by deploying more than 100 robotaxis and establishing nearly 1,000 pickup stations in Guangzhou to create a service that will be available to citizens daily.