AutoX opens Shanghai RoboTaxi service to the public
Back in April, autonomous vehicle tech firm AutoX teamed up with Alibaba’s Amap mobility platform to make robo-taxis available to Shanghai ride-hailers. But only a limited group of users could access the pilot program. Now AutoX and Amap have opened the service up to the public.
As with the pilot program, ride-hailers can book a RoboTaxi through Alibaba’s Amap mobile app, but Shanghai commuters are also being given another option as taxi service Letzgo gets in on the action.
Letzgo staff will be trained in the operation of RoboTaxis at AutoX’s Shanghai Operations center, ahead of the new service rolling out in the next few weeks. After that, folks needing a ride in Shanghai’s Jiading District can hail an autonomous taxi using either the Amap or Letzgo mobile apps. They will be picked up and dropped off by one of the 100-string fleet in the area.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AutoX has made a few tweaks to its service. When customers enters the vehicle, for example, rather than operate a touchscreen, they only have to say the last four digits of their cellphone number to confirm their identity and the voice recognition system will launch the appropriate booking and set off. Passengers can monitor trip progress on the internal screen.
Shanghai is the first city in the world where the public can use AutoX’s RoboTaxi services, though the company is currently testing self-driving vehicles in Shenzhen, Wuhan, Wuhu and a number of other cities outside of China, ahead of public launch over the coming months.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm