To diversify its business beyond online advertising, Chinese search giant Baidu is planning to launch a driverless taxi service (robotaxi) in 100 mainland cities and will include commercialization by 2030.

Currently, Baidu is operating robotaxi Apollo Go service in 5 major cities of China. Users can call a taxi as a self-driving car through the smart app.

Baidu's goal is to expand the Apollo Go service to 65 cities by 2025 and to 100 cities by 2030, Baidu CEO Robin Li said in an internal announcement.

The pace of Baidu's planned development shows the company's serious investment in autonomous driving. Analysts in the field see this as a potential business, helping to bring billions of dollars in revenue for the tech giant in the future.

According to CNBC, the announcement comes after Baidu reported revenue of 31.92 billion yuan ($4.95 billion) in the third quarter, higher than initial expectations.

However, CEO Li warned that the business's advertising revenue has been affected by the slowdown in China's economic development, especially in some areas such as education and real estate. However, that number is not much and Baidu still receives revenue results that exceed expectations.

Besides implementing the robotaxi project, Baidu also invests in areas ranging from semiconductors to electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Specifically, the company does not make cars but is behind the development of driverless technology.

Baidu has partnered with various automakers in China to expand its fleet, including BAIC Group, BAIC Group and electric vehicle startup WM Motor.

Badu has joined hands with the most private car manufacturer Geely Holding to form a joint venture to produce electric vehicles Jidu Auto. It is expected that by 2023, the first cars equipped with Baidu's autonomous driving technology will begin to be produced.

In addition to passenger transport services, Baidu will also apply self-driving technology to business-to-business logistics services. While elsewhere, the Chinese search service company said it had signed contracts worth more than $1.56 million with 24 cities to provide artificial intelligence-based traffic congestion relief. create AI.


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