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Home > 2024/02/27 Robotaxis get green light for airport run

2024/02/27 Robotaxis get green light for airport run

Beijing has granted permits to several robotaxi operators, including Baidu Inc and Pony.ai, allowing them to offer driverless vehicle services at Beijing Daxing International Airport, a key step indicating that the city has become the world's first capital to run autonomous passenger vehicles between urban areas and the airport.

Industry experts said the move marks a milestone in China's efforts to develop an intelligent transportation system, and will further bolster the commercial application of self-driving technology.

The approval, granted by the head office of Beijing High-Level Automated Driving Demonstration Area, allows these companies to provide self-driving vehicle services on 40-kilometer expressways connecting the international airport with Yizhuang in Beijing's Daxing district, as well as in some designated areas within the airport.

The permits come with the precondition that a safety inspector will sit behind the steering wheel and take manual control in case of an emergency.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the country supports the commercial application of Level 3 and above autonomous driving systems. Level 3, or L3, means conditional automation, which allows a vehicle to drive by itself without human override under certain conditions.