AutoX accelerated its plans on self-driving car

In March, as the leading self-driving car companies in the US suspended testing because of  coronavirus, the Chinese start-up AutoX accelerated its plans. It opened potentially the largest data centre for self-driving cars in Shanghai and signed a deal to launch a fleet of 100 robotaxis in the city. AutoX is just one of several Chinese start-ups aiming to close the gap with Silicon Valley who have been rolling out pilot projects, racking up test miles and raising fresh funds as US rivals sit idle… AutoX will be the first service in China allowed to drive up to the speed limit of 80km an hour, as well as being able to pick up and drop off passengers anywhere in the trial area of Jiading district, rather than at select stations… Competition to develop robotaxis in China has intensified since last summer when a handful of big Chinese cities began issuing “commercial” testing licences for self-driving cars, allowing companies to start trying out future business ventures. Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise are still considered to be the clear industry leaders in terms of technology, but competition is fiercer in the US, which has about a dozen big robotaxi companies, compared with about half that number in China. 

Christian Shepherd