Alibaba‘s Amap & AutoX have partnered up to release a self driving vehicle as Robotaxi, in China’s ride hailing network for commercial service in China. The service is being published first in Shanghai.
The city of Shanghai is-the first area where the collaboration is launching its service, which is named the ‘AutoX RoboTaxi.’ This is big-news considering it is the first-time a self driving service has been available on a significant ride hailing platform in-China. The service is being offered by the AutoX (as well known as AutoNavi & Gaode) alongside the Alibaba-owned, Amap Co. Ltd.
The process of using-the service is relatively straightforward and quite similar to any regular taxi hailing-service. A user must enter their pickup & drop the locations, after which, the application will list all the vehicles that can fulfil the request, including AutoX RoboTaxi-vehicles. One can choose between the regular and the autonomous vehicles selections, and the app will just send a car closest to the user in either case-.
According to AutoX CEO, Dr Jianxiong Xiao,-“The seamless combination of autonomous and human driving fleets is crucial for the adoption and commercialization of self driving technology. The service-area of autonomous vehicles is an ever increasing yet geo fenced region, and the fleet size takes time to grow. This combination is a must have for an autonomous driving company to be able to provide a beneficial service for all riders.”
At the moment, other self driving car services only offer drops at fixed locations. However, the AutoX’s-service will have users be picked up and dropped off at any location within the city. And This provides a higher degree of flexibility and is a lot more viable & convenient for its customers. Furthermore, The AutoX vehicles are capable of going speeds up to 80km/h and have as well been developed with the recent-pandemic in mind.
The AutoX service is streamlined-identity confirmation and rides starting process, which is entirely touchless. For its self-driving car, AutoX employs the V2X technology that is connected to servers via-5G networking. This allows the-vehicle to communicate with road infrastructure such as traffic lights, and obtain other information as well. At the moment, the RoboTaxi-service is the first real-world application of Shanghai’s V2X foundation, which was newly built as part of China’s national New Infrastructure Initiative-.
The practical applications and the implications of this service are enormous. Not only does it open a-new breed of service to the existing industry, but it however further advances the technology behind it and its implementations. This will also help the large population of-Shanghai to move freely around the city with lower-risks and go about daily commutes to subway stations, grocery stores, and more. The service will also have 100 cars in its arsenal & will even start accepting free-promotional rides to early users from 27th April 2020.