Baidu Apollo Gets Beijing Approval For Commercialized Autonomous Car Service On Open Roads

Chinese AI company Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) announced that Baidu Apollo has received the approval for commercial operation of its autonomous car service on open roads in Beijing on Thursday.

The company's Apollo Go, known as Luobo Kuaipao in China, was authorized to provide paid service in Beijing's newly-launched pilot zone for autonomous driving commercial services. It is China's first-ever demonstration zone for commercial autonomous driving.

The head office of Beijing High-level Automated Driving Demonstration Area or BJHAD granted the autonomous vehicle commercial permit. It allows Baidu to charge fees for autonomous services offered to the public in a designated area. Baidu was among the first service providers to receive such authorization.

The area covers 60 square kilometers in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone. The service provided by Baidu's Apollo Go includes over 600 pick-up and drop-off points in both commercial and residential areas. Covering a total of 350 kilometers of roads, the service is available every day of the week from 7am to 10pm.

Qualified users can locate one of a total of 67 autonomous cars by using the Apollo Go App.

In the third quarter, Baidu's Apollo Go provided 115,000 rides. As of September 2021, Apollo L4 accumulated over 10 million test miles, an increase of 189% year over year.

Baidu plans to expand Apollo Go operations into 65 cities across China by 2025 and 100 cities by 2030.

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