Chinese tech giant Baidu’s newest car to join its self-driving taxi service, Apollo Go, has been unveiled. Baidu claims that the Apollo RT6 possesses the driving prowess of a driver with 20 years’ worth of experience. According to Baidu, each Apollo RT6 would cost 250,000 yuan (£31,000). The car has 38 sensors in all, including:
– eight light-detection and range (Lidar) sensors
– a single 6mm (0.2 inch) radar
– 12 ultrasound sensors
– 12 cameras
Since the service’s launch in 2020, Baidu claims its robo-taxis have provided more than one million rides in ten Chinese cities, including Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing.

“This massive cost reduction will enable us to deploy tens of thousands of [automated vehicles] across China,” said co-founder and chief executive Robin Li during the company’s annual technology conference. Currently, autonomous vehicles in China are still required to have a safety driver in the vehicle. However, according to Baidu, the RT6’s removable steering wheel might be swapped out for additional seats, vending machines, tables, or gaming consoles in the future. For a small-scale trial, Baidu wants the RT6 to join its current fleet in the second half of 2023, with the goal of having 100,000 of them on the roads by the end of the decade. There has been talk regarding the effect on jobs if they were made official on the nation’s social network, says a Chinese expert for a news site. She added: “While pilot schemes have been rolled out, there have been perceptions online that they are still ‘hard to find’ or that appointments are difficult to make, in order to try one out.