WeRide Greenlit For Launch Of Paid, Fully Driverless Robotaxi Service In Beijing

WeRide, a trailblazer in the autonomous driving industry, has received the green light for commercial operation of its fully driverless Robotaxi service in the Chinese capital.

What Happened: According to the press release carried by PRNewswire, WeRide secured approval from the Beijing Intelligent Connected Vehicle Policy Pilot Zone. Consequently, it can now roll out its paid services to the public in Yizhuang, Beijing.

Ever since October 2022, when WeRide initially obtained the approval to commence driverless road tests in the Pilot Zone, it has progressively received permits for a variety of operations. These include an “unmanned remote stage” demonstration, high-speed road testing to and from the airport, and now the commercial operation.

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The public in the designated area can use the WeRide Go App to request a WeRide Robotaxi. The service covers popular destinations, such as subway stations, residential areas, and office and industrial parks, with a total of 242 pick-up and drop-off locations. The Robotaxi can accommodate 1-3 passengers at a time and runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

WeRide launched China’s first Robotaxi in November 2018 and has since successfully run commercial Robotaxi services in Guangzhou and overseas. It has completed nearly 20,000 customer orders during more than 1,400 days of commercial operation.

Why It Matters: WeRide’s progress in the autonomous driving sector is noteworthy, especially considering its successful $200 million fundraising from Yutong Group in its Series B1 funding round in December 2020. The majority of WeRide’s technology team, which consists of 70% R&D engineers, has been focusing on the L4 autonomous technology, which eliminates the need for human intervention even during system failures. With the backing of Yutong Group, WeRide aims to deploy its autonomous driving technology to city buses and minibuses, while also expanding its driverless mobility on the commercial front.

Moving forward, WeRide plans to broaden the scope of its Robotaxi service, including increasing the number of Robotaxis, adding more pick-up and drop-off stops, and fast-tracking the commercialization of other self-driving products to build an efficient and convenient travel ecosystem.

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Image by WeRide via PRNewswire

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