The internet company will trial a fleet of autonomous vehicles on Guangzhou roads during the Chinese New Year festival period


Baidu is set to trial its multi-modal autonomous MaaS platform in Guangzhou. (Credit: Baidu, Inc.)

Baidu has introduced a multi-modal autonomous driving mobility as a service (MaaS) platform for providing artificial intelligence (AI) powered city transportation services in Guangzhou, China.

The Chinese internet company said that a fleet of autonomous vehicles will begin trial operations on public roads in the city during the Chinese New Year holiday period.

Through the initiative, the company will implement the Baidu Apollo driverless vehicle concept and the full-stack intelligent transportation solution ACE Transportation Engine. The initiative is expected to enable local users to order smart transport services on demand.

The company has partnered with the Guangzhou Huangpu District government to launch the autonomous driving MaaS platform.

The fleet will be trialled with more than 40 autonomous vehicles across five different model types, that include Robotaxi, Robobus, Apollocop, Apolong, and New Species Vehicle.

Citizens can book reservations on the Baidu Maps and Apollo Go mobile apps to watch the trials and also to experience the smart transportation technology.

Baidu claimed that the MaaS platform ecosystem can address the diverse requirements of many citizens during their sightseeing, shopping, and celebratory outings during the holiday season.

For enabling this, Baidu Apollo has set up more than 50 Robotaxi pickup stations for providing autonomous vehicles to drop users to Chinese New Year festival sites.

Baidu said that a batch of New Species Vehicles is going around Guangzhou for carrying out unmanned retail, routine cleaning, and disinfection tasks.

Apolong minibuses are serving sightseers, while Apollocop is patrolling the main roads and Baidu Robobus is taking passengers along fixed routes, said the internet company.

Baidu stated: “Guangzhou’s open and inclusive policy environment fosters and encourages the development of the autonomous driving industry.

“Going forward, Baidu will continue conducting regular trial operations by additionally deploying over 100 Robotaxis and establishing almost 1,000 pickup stations in Guangzhou Huangpu District; this will allow local citizens to continue utilizing autonomous driving services in their daily lives, in lieu of similar Robotaxi programs implemented in Beijing, Changsha, Cangzhou and other areas of China.”