Chinese tech company Baidu announced Monday it can sell some robotaxi rides without any human staff in the vehicles.
BEIJING — Chinese tech company Baidu said Monday it has become the first robotaxi operator in China to obtain permits for selling rides with no human driver or staff member inside the vehicles.
The local government approvals allow Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi business to eliminate the cost of human personnel in some instances.
The initial scale of the permits is small: 10 robotaxis divided between two suburban areas of Wuhan and Chongqing, two major Chinese cities.
In April, Baidu and rival robotaxi operator Pony.ai received approval from a Beijing suburban district to operate robotaxis without a human driver. But the Chinese capital still requires human staff to sit in the robotaxi with passengers.
Municipal authorities across China have issued an increasing number of…