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Baidu Launches Affordable Sixth-Generation Robotaxi, Cutting Costs by Over 50%

Baidu unveils sixth-generation robotaxi, cutting costs by over 50%. Wuhan to have a fleet of 1,000 RT 6 robotaxis by year-end. Enhanced convenience for passengers with front passenger seat and sliding rear doors.

This new model comes at a significantly reduced cost, with Baidu managing to cut expenses by more than 50% compared to its previous version.

Developed in collaboration with state-owned automaker Jiangling Motors Group, the RT 6 robotaxi is a game-changer in terms of affordability. Baidu now spends just 200,000 yuan ($27,702) to procure each unit, a substantial decrease from the fifth-generation model co-developed with Beijing-based BAIC Group.

Aside from its cost-effectiveness, the RT 6 robotaxi also offers enhanced convenience for passengers. For the first time, riders will have the option to sit in the front passenger seat, and the rear doors will slide open, making entry and exit more seamless.

The city of Wuhan, with its population of over 8 million people, will be the primary market for the robotaxi operation. Baidu plans to have a fleet of 1,000 RT 6 robotaxis in operation by the end of this year, solidifying its presence in the largest market for this innovative transportation solution.

One of the key advancements of the RT 6 robotaxi is its level of autonomy, which eliminates the need for human intervention. Baidu has successfully implemented remote control capabilities, removing the requirement for a safety monitor in the passenger seat. This breakthrough not only enhances passenger safety but also significantly reduces operating costs.

Baidu is optimistic about the financial prospects of its Wuhan business. The company expects to turn a profit for the full year of 2025, with the fourth quarter of this year marking the turning point from operating losses to profitability.

With operations already established in more than 10 cities, including Beijing and Chongqing, Baidu's robotaxi service has seen impressive usage, surpassing 6 million rides. The company aims to expand rapidly, leveraging its success in Wuhan to introduce the robotaxi format to other cities within just six months.

Wang Yunpeng, Baidu's vice president in charge of the autonomous driving division, emphasised the safety of autonomous driving technology. He stated, "Over the course of 10 years, vehicles equipped with self-driving technology have driven over 100 million kilometers without causing a major accident." Wang firmly believes that autonomous driving technology is far safer than human drivers.

Baidu's foray into autonomous driving began in 2013, and in 2017, the company launched Apollo, an open-source platform for autonomous driving. Baidu's autonomous driving arm comprises three core earnings centers: the robotaxi service, sales of passenger vehicles with self-driving technology, and the supply of autonomous driving systems to automakers.

The company's journey in autonomous driving reached a significant milestone in 2019 when it piloted robotaxis with Level 4 autonomy on select public roads in Changsha. Level 4 autonomy indicates that the vehicle can operate independently in certain environments. Baidu expanded its services to offer paid commercial robotaxi rides in Beijing in 2021 and has since expanded to other cities.

  • Baidu unveils sixth-generation robotaxi, cutting costs by over 50%

  • Wuhan to have a fleet of 1,000 RT 6 robotaxis by year-end

  • Enhanced convenience for passengers with front passenger seat and sliding rear doors


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