Chinese autonomous driving developer AutoX has opened its fully driverless RoboTaxi pilot program to the public in the city of Shenzhen, after its vehicles began final testing last month. This development marks the first time that the public will be able to book a completely autonomous RoboTaxi without an accompanying safety driver in China.
According to AutoX, members of the public can sign up for the pilot program through its RoboTaxi registration page and selected users can use membership credits for the RoboTaxi rides. During a trip, passengers can speak to a customer support agent if they have any questions, with support agents also able to check the status of a vehicle in real time to provide assistance if necessary.
To facilitate the pilot, AutoX has set up a new operations center in Shenzhen, which it states is more advanced than previous centers built by the company in Shanghai and other cities. Notably, the operations center is equipped with reliable internet infrastructure from multiple suppliers, fortified with fiber-optics, and supported by a backup power system. The company claims this reliable network connectivity guarantees seamless passenger support, and communication with roadside assistance teams at all times.
Since mid-2020, AutoX has been conducting fully driverless stress tests in Shenzhen, a Tier 1 city with the highest population density in China, and has now received approval from the Shenzhen Pingshan government to deploy driverless vehicles on the road for the general public. Before deployment, all the service vehicles must complete government-designated autonomous vehicle testing at the Shenzhen Pingshan self-driving car test center.
AutoX currently operates more than 100 RoboTaxis across the cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan. The company notes it has been accumulating significant miles of road data from its testing in Asian cities with high population density, helping it better understand challenging urban traffic conditions.