Autonomous driving technology developer AutoX has rolled out fully driverless robotaxis on the roads of downtown Shenzhen, the company reported in a press announcement. AutoX claims this is the first time in China a completely autonomous fleet has been deployed without accompanying safety drivers or remote operators. The service is not yet available to the public.
In September, regulators granted authority to autonomous competitor Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, to test two of its driverless vehicles in the city of Changsha without a human safety driver.
AutoX has been conducting driverless tests in Shenzen, a Chinese city of 12.3 million, for the past half a year with 25 driverless robotaxis. AutoX operates more than 100 robotaxis in Shanghai and Shenzhen. In August, the company opened its Shanghai robotaxi service to the general public. Shanghai passengers can use Alibaba's ride-hailing app to hail an AutoX ride.
In July, the Alibaba-backed company became the third autonomous technology company to receive a driverless permit from the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Those permits now include four companies: AutoX, Zoox, Waymo, and Nuro.
AutoX’s permit was the second in California to allow passenger vehicles to drive up to 45 miles per hour on the state’s public roads. The permit is limited to one vehicle and restricted to surface streets within a section near its headquarters, according to the California DMV as reported by TechCrunch.