Baidu Robotaxis Clinched 10% of Beijing Suburb Ride-hailing Market, Company Report Claims

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Baidu Robotaxis Clinched 10% of Beijing Suburb Ride-hailing Market, Company Report Claims
Photo: Depositphotos

During a recent earnings call, Baidu revealed that its robotaxis wield a 10% dominance in the Yizhuang ride-hailing market.

According to Baidu, its robotaxis have captured a sizable 10% of the ride-hailing market in a suburb of Beijing city. The Chinese multinational tech company made this revelation at an earnings call on Tuesday. Baidu further stated that it currently operates more than 100 robotaxis in the Beijing suburb of Yizhuang. In addition, the artificial intelligence-specializing firm also noted that each vehicle averages more than 20 trips daily.

Furthermore, CNBC revealed that the robotaxi app showed that trips currently remained heavily subsidized. For example, a thirty-minute trip from the heart of Beijing to Yizhuang cost 5.36 yuan, or 79 cents, a discount of 48.24 yuan.

Baidu first began offering free robotaxi rides in Yizhuang back in October 2020. However, a little over a year later, the company secured approval to start charging fees on trips in the Beijing suburb. According to information from Baidu, Yizhuang remains the only part of Beijing where it can collect fares for rides on public roads. For the most part, Baidu can not operate its robotaxis on public roads in the central part of Beijing.

More on Baidu Robotaxis vis-à-vis Chinese Ride-hailing Market

Baidu currently operates its robotaxis business in more than ten Chinese cities, and can charge fares in seven of these cities. However, local rules still require the presence of human staff in the vehicle with passengers. Nevertheless, Baidu secured a license to operate the first line of fully driverless robotaxis in China early this month. The tech giant equated this milestone to “landing on the moon”. The company also stated that it would incorporate multiple safety features into its autonomous robotaxis. Furthermore, Baidu also suggested that its driverless robotaxis marked a watershed moment for China’s autonomous driving policy-making, saying:

“This is a tremendous qualitative change. We believe these permits are a key milestone on the path to the inflection point when the industry can finally roll out fully autonomous driving services at scale.”

Baidu Q2 Earnings Takeaways

Baidu also reported other robotaxi key metrics. The Chinese tech giant stated that it operated 287,000 public robotaxi rides during the second quarter. This represents a 46% increase from the first quarter. In addition, Baidu reported that robotaxi rides in Yizhuang made up more than 60% of its total Q2 operations.

However, Baidu US-traded shares slumped 6.5% in a quick fashion following its second-quarter earnings report. This came about as a result of a smaller-than-expected decline in Q2 revenues, which saw cloud sales offset the drag on advertising. As of press time, Baidu stock was selling $137.69 a pop and is currently down 7% for the year.

Attributing the dip in company value to the pandemic, Baidu co-founder and chief executive officer Robin Li, explained:

“Despite a challenging macro environment caused by Covid-19, Baidu Core generated RMB23.2 billion in revenues in the second quarter, while Baidu AI Cloud revenues maintained rapid growth momentum of 31% year over year and 10% quarter over quarter.”

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Tolu Ajiboye
Author Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.

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