September 26, a total of 45 taxis equipped with autonomous driving technologies started carrying passengers on a trial basis in central China's Changsha as part of the Hunan capital's smart city push.
These Apollo Robotaxis, co-produced by Chinese artificial intelligence giant Baidu and domestic carmaker FAW Hongqi, are L4-level autonomous passenger vehicles capable of handling driving without human intervention in limited conditions.
Baidu and two local firms set up a joint venture in April to help promote this project. More over Changsha has built a national test zone for intelligent connected vehicles (ICV) and a sound industrial chain.
The length of the trial road may reaches 50 km by the end of this year and 135 km by the first half of 2020.
Autonomous driving has become one of the investment priorities for Baidu in past few years. The company launched an open platform named Apollo in 2017 to coordinate cross-sector efforts in autonomous driving.