AutoX sends robotaxis into public service

January 28, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
AutoX sends robotaxis into public service
Chinese startup company AutoX, which is funded among others by the digital group Alibaba, has opened its fully driverless RoboTaxi pilot program to the public in Shenzhen, after its taxis hit the road last month for final testing. This marks the first time that the general public will be able to book a completely autonomous RoboTaxi without accompanying safety drivers in China.

In a video, the company shows how the fully driverless RoboTaxi operates from a passenger’s perspective. The vehicle runs on regular public roads in the city, takes unprotected left turns at busy intersections, makes side passes on streets, deals with a scooter running traffic lights, and more.

AutoX is the only R&D team in China with AI software and automotive-grade hardware as a background, Jiangxiong Xiao, founder and CEO of AutoX Inc recently told an international technology conference. Equipped with a full range of sensors, the AutoX autonomous vehicles can drive even in the dark or in heavy rain, giving them the capability to even merge into already crowded lanes. “This is a big challenge,” Xiao said during the presentation.

Regarding the electronics architecture and the technologies used, Xiao only said that the development focus is on "AI as a driver".

The AutoX founder can imagine two areas of application for his vehicles: as autonomous taxis ("moving people") or trucks ("moving goods"). On the question of the commercialisation strategy, the AutoX CEO explained "As a technology company, we aim to partner with local taxi companies and have already signed some such partnerships in major cities." In addition, the company is also interested in relevant partnerships with OEMs, he said.

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