September 01, 2022: -In less than two years, Chinese tech company Baidu’s robotaxis have held about 10% of the ride-hailing market in Beijing, the company stated on Tuesday.
Baidu’s U.S.-traded shares decreased 6.5% overnight to $137.69 each. Claims are down by more than 7% for the year so far.
The Chinese company said it has over 100 robotaxis operating in the suburb, with each vehicle running over 20 trips a day on average. Local rules require human attendants to sit in the car with passengers.
In Beijing, Baidu cannot yet operate its robotaxi business on public roads in the central portion of the city. According to information from the company, the only part of Beijing where Baidu can charge fares for rides on public roads is in a town known as Yizhuang.
The region is roughly a 30-minute drive south of the center of China’s capital city. The area is home to many businesses, including e-commerce giant JD.com’s office.
Baidu started delivering free robotaxi rides in Yizhuang in October 2020 and obtained approval to manage fares in November 2021.
However, CNBC reviews of the Baidu robotaxi app include shown rides remain heavily subsidized, even as of Wednesday.
A half-hour trip from JD.com’s posts to a residential area within Yizhuang displayed a fare of 5.36 yuan and a 48.24 yuan discount.
A check of start-up Pony.ai’s robotaxi app offered the fare for the same route was fully supported. Pony.ai obtained approval to charge fares for its robotaxis in Yizhuang nearly as Baidu did.
Baidu’s robotaxi business impressed Apollo Go, with operations in more than ten cities in China. The group said Apollo Go could charge fares in seven cities.
In Tuesday’s gains release, Baidu shipped it took 287,000 public robotaxi rides in the second quarter, up 46% from the foremost quarter.
According to CNBC, robotaxi rides in Yizhuang accounted for more than 60% of that second-quarter total.