Chinese autonomous vehicle developer AutoX has rolled out its fully driverless robotaxis on the roads of Shenzhen, marking the first time a completely autonomous fleet, without accompanying safety drivers or remote operators, has been deployed in China.
The company has been conducting vehicle system stress tests in the Tier 1 city – which has the highest population density in China – over the last six months using a fleet of 25 vehicles. In total, AutoX has been operating more than 100 of its vehicles in the cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities, and has also been testing in California, USA.
The vehicles are equipped with the company’s latest, fifth generation AD system, developed specifically to support autonomous vehicle deployment in urban settings. Compared with previous generations, the fifth-gen’s sensor capabilities have been reinforced to better handle dense urban traffic and complex scenarios, such as those involving pedestrians, fast cyclists and even small pets interacting simultaneously, in close proximity to a vehicle.
The sensor system relies on an array of high-resolution cameras – designed in-house by AutoX – with two lidar sensors placed on either side of the vehicle, which are complemented by 4D radar sensors. Via the use of multi-sensor fusion, the system can detect even small objects in blind spots, the company says.