The future is robotaxis in China

A Chinese car company is testing self-driving robotaxis in Shanghai.

Miao Wei, the executive vice president of BYD Co., Ltd., the company behind the bots, said the vehicles have traveled over 300,000 miles so far, and have been driven more than 14 million kilometers.

The cars have seats for two people and can operate both city streets and highways, he said.

Miao said the cost per kilometer is around $4.

Miao said the robotaxis use information from a built-in traffic monitoring system to stay safe and minimize accidents. The company said its robotaxis operate under a “pilot mode” that allows them to drive in a more restricted manner, even when more detailed maps and other technology are available.

Miao said BYD will soon begin tests on the robotaxis in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. The company plans to introduce them in 13 cities across China by the end of the year.

BYD has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing the robotaxis, the latest innovation in China’s burgeoning autonomous vehicle market. BYD is China’s largest producer of batteries and panel cells.

–Associated Press

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