New services, tech-powered devices to facilitate 2022 Winter Games | Updated: 2021-12-14 06:40
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A driverless vehicle developed by Baidu Inc runs through Shougang Park in Shijingshan district, Beijing. [Photo/IC]

Robotaxis are becoming a reality in Beijing as the capital becomes the first city in China to allow the vehicles to operate on public roads.

Local authorities issued permits on Nov 25 to robotaxi service operators, whose vehicles can offer such services in a 60-square-kilometer zone, with 350 km of open roads, in its southern suburb of Yizhuang.

Baidu is among the first to receive the permits, now having 67 robotaxis in the zone. They can pick up and drop off passengers at 600 points in both commercial and residential areas.

These autonomous vehicles can be hailed via the smartphone app Apollo Go and the service is available every day of the week from 7 am to 10 pm, said the company.

Baidu was also approved in May to charge passengers for driverless robotaxi services in Beijing's Shougang Park, one of the sites for 2022 Winter Games.

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