Baidu claims its robotaxis rival traditional ride-hailing in parts of China

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  • During the third quarter, each of Baidu’s self-driving taxis completed an average of more than 15 rides a day in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to a FactSet transcript of the earnings call.
  • “To our knowledge, this number is pretty close to the average daily ride for traditional ride-hailing services,” Lee said.
  • In Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Baidu’s robotaxis – branded Apollo Go – can only operate in certain suburban areas.

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Beijing – Chinese Tech Company baidu said its robotaxi business in big cities is close to gaining the same traction with locals as traditional ride-hailing services.

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During the third quarter, each of Baidu’s self-driving taxis completed an average of more than 15 rides a day in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to a FactSet transcript of the earnings call.

“To our knowledge, this number is pretty close to the average daily ride for traditional ride-hailing services,” Lee said. He did not say how many cars are in each local fleet.

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For comparison, trips per active vehicle on ride-hailing apps in New York City averaged about 12 per day in September. Latest available municipal data.

In Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Baidu’s robotaxis – branded Apollo Go – can only operate in certain suburban areas.

The company did not say whether it would charge fares for its robotaxi rides in Guangzhou or Shanghai.

About 12 months ago, Baidu received approval from the city of Beijing to start charging fares for robotaxi rides in Yizhuang district, about a half-hour’s drive from the capital city center.

Those rides still require a human staff member to sit in the car.

However, Baidu this week said it had received approval from local Beijing authorities to test 10 robotaxis without any human staff on the front lines.

Pony.ai, a start-up that also operates a robotaxi business, said it has received similar approval.

Robotaxi rides from both companies are heavily subsidized in Beijing’s Yizhuang district. A CNBC investigation Wednesday of both the Apollo Go and Pony.ai apps found that more than 80% of the discounts were implemented.

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Baidu has robotaxi operations in several cities in China, and may charge for fares in at least seven, according to the company.

The company said Tuesday that total robotaxi trips in the third quarter climbed more than 300% from a year ago to more than 474,000 rides.

When asked during the earnings call when Apollo Go would break-even, the company said that it believes that robotaxi will eventually be profitable and cheaper than current ride-hailing services, and that Baidu’s overall profit and The loss and cash flow impact are “manageable”. ,

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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