8/8, 11:23 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Baidu allowed to launch driverless taxis in China

Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. announced on Monday that authorities have approved the company's plans to launch driverless taxis in Chongqing and Wuhan in what could be a significant milestone for autonomous driving. The announcement marks the first decision of this kind in history, allowing Baidu to put 10 "robotaxis" on the streets for eight hours a day and offer rides to residents.

"Fully driverless cars providing rides on open roads to paying customers means we have finally come to the moment that the industry has been longing for. These permits are a key milestone on the path to... when the industry can finally roll out fully autonomous driving services at scale," Baidu's vice-president Wei Dong was cited by the Nikkei Asia newspaper.

Baidu has been testing self-driving technology in 10 Chinese cities over the past two years, performing more than a million rides however with a safety driver inside the vehicles. The business hub of Shenzhen also updated its rules to allow autonomous driving services to start this month.

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / ND