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Baidu is bringing its autonomous ride-hailing service to Shenzhen

Baidu announced Thursday that it has launched a pilot robotaxi service in Shenzhen, offering free rides to the public in the city’s downtown Nanshan District. Riders can use its autonomous ride-hailing app “Luobo Kuaipao” to hail a cab at approximately 50 stations from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The company plans to increase the number of pickup and drop-off locations to 300 by the end of this year. The Chinese search engine giant is now trialing its self-driving taxi service in seven domestic cities with its testing fleet logging 21 million kilometers (13 million miles) since its inception. [Baidu release]

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Baidu, Xpeng, SF Express invest in autonomous truck startup Autra

Autra, a new self-driving truck startup founded by former veterans at Pony.ai, has reportedly raised RMB 200 million ($31.4 million) in a funding round from prominent investors including search engine giant Baidu, electric vehicle maker Xpeng Motors, and logistics firm SF Express. The investment pushes the company’s valuation to more than RMB 1 billion, 36Kr reported Wednesday citing sources familiar with the matter. Beijing-based Autra was co-founded in July by Sun Haowen, an ex-senior director at Pony.ai, and Ding Fei, another former executive at the self-driving unicorn who has also worked with IDG Capital. [36Kr, in Chinese]

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Founder of autonomous car startup JingChi steps down amid Baidu suit

Wang Jing, founder and CEO of JingChi, has left his position in the company. JingChi defines itself as a mobility company powered by artificial intelligence. The company is currently being sued by Baidu for RMB 50 million over claims of autonomous driving trade secret theft. Baidu claims that Wang is using Baidu’s self-driving commercial secrets to compete against […]

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Baidu signs strategic partnership agreements to accelerate autonomous driving

Chinese tech giant Baidu announced signing strategic cooperation agreements with two of China’s leading automotive companies, BAIC Group and Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. (“King Long”). Baidu and BAIC Group, one of the largest automakers in China, will mass-produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features around 2019 and fully autonomous Level 4 cars […]

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Baidu announces RMB 10 billion yuan fund for autonomous driving and launches Apollo 1.5

Baidu’s self-driving vehicle platform Apollo, known as the “Android of the auto industry” for its open source code has gotten its first update. The platform— designed to speed up speeding up self-driving development and boost cooperation between automotive and internet companies—was announced in July at Baidu’s inaugural AI Developers Conference in Beijing where TechNode got […]