The company Baidu, known for its search engine, is taking the big step in autonomous driving and taking them out on the roads at night.
It seems that the technocrats are not giving up on the autonomous taxi. In America, specifically in the cities of San Francisco, Austin and Phoenix, Cruise dominates, a subsidiary of General Motors.
On the other side of the Atlantic in Russia and third countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Serbia and Moldova) the Russian Yandex dominates, despite the fun that hackers and they sent all her taxis to one square.
Well, shouldn't China be jealous? Starting this week, the public can take autonomous taxis in Wuhan (Wuhan, yes the one where the pandemic started) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with no safety drivers behind the wheel.
Previously, its unmanned vehicles operated only from 9 am to 5 pm in the city, where visibility is assured. The updated plan is expected to cover one million customers in some areas of Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million people.
As with most autonomous vehicles, the company that owns these taxis, Baidu, has configured a combination of third-party cameras, radar and lidar to help its cars see better in low-visibility conditions, as opposed to the solution based on in Tesla's "vision".
In August, Baidu began offering driverless robot rides, charging passengers taxi fares. In Q3, Apollo Go, Baidu's robotaxi hailing rental app, completed more than 474.000 rides, marking a 311% year-over-year increase. Cumulatively, the Apollo Go had crossed 1,4 million orders since the third quarter.
Wuhan, an industrial hub in central China, is one of the first cities in the country to allow autonomous machines to drive the public without safety operators in the car. And now, the city seems to be comfortable with driverless cars driving around even in low-light conditions at night.
When will we see something similar in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion? Only the mayor of Trikala he has put the glasses on us, even pilots.