Baidu’s 6th generation robot taxi unveiled
The company Baidu is well known around the world of internet in Chinabut this technology giant also works in a completely different sector, that of taxi-robots. Baidu owns the biggest robot taxi company in the world, and it’s called Apollo GB. Since 2021, Apollo Go has been transporting paying passengers in self-driving taxis. without the presence of a safety driver.
Baidu intends to go even further with its robot taxi service since it has just unveiled his electric vehicle of 6th generationa model called Apollo RT6. This new model is scheduled to enter service in 2023, and it represents a new generation of autonomous taxis designed to lower the price of the journey.
According to Baidu’s explanation, each unit of the RT6 will cost approximately 36,000 euros to manufacture. The purpose of this vehicle is to replace human conductors.
Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of the company, indicated that this massive reduction in costs will allow the rolling out tens of thousands of self-driving cars across China. For him, we are moving towards a future where taking a robot taxi will cost half of what we currently pay for a standard taxi.
Features of the new vehicle
The design of the RT6 is not really revolutionary but he is neat and technical. The vehicle is equipped with ordinary doors in front and electric sliding doors in the rear.
As for the sensors, the design has been improved compared to the current model which has a whole assembly of cameras and sensors on the roof of the car. The 38 sensors of the RT6including 8 LIDAR and 12 cameras, are better integrated into the design.
The main feature of this new model is that it was designed primarily for provide driverless service. Thereby, its steering wheel is detachable, and therefore there is more space in the cabin. For Baidu, this extra space can be used to put a seat, vending machines, computers and even video game consoles.
All of these features sound great, but what about the ride? According to Zhenyu Li, senior vice president of the company, the self-driving capability of the RT6 is “equivalent to that of a qualified driver with 20 years of experience”.