For the first time, residents in China will be able to hail a self-driving taxi on a major ride-hailing platform
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Spotted: Residents of Shanghai are now being offered the option to hail a ride in a self-driving taxi, as autonomous driving tech company AutoX has partnered with the Alibaba Group’s Amap mobility platform to provide AutoX RoboTaxis. This is a first for China in a couple of ways; it is the first time such an option has been made available on a major ride-hailing platform, and the first time, a self-driving taxi is able to get up to the maximum non-highway speed of 50 mph.
Users can simply make a booking through the Amap mobile app by entering their pick-up and drop-off locations. All of the available vehicles are then listed and the user has the choice to opt for both a self-driving taxi and a human-driven one simultaneously, allowing the app to work out which will arrive first. Unlike other self-driving taxi services, the AutoX vehicles don’t limit users to fixed journeys and can pick up and drop-off anywhere in the city.
AutoX and Amap started accepting early access riders at the end of April, and the service will subsequently be opened up to everyone after the initial trial has been completed. There are plans to have 100 RoboTaxis on public roads in Shanghai, which will all communicate with road infrastructure via the city’s 5G-based V2X technology to gather traffic data.