Baidu has collaborated with BAIC Group’s EV brand Arcfox to launch Apollo Moon, a new generation of robotaxis that are set to be mass-produced at just one third of the cost of average L4 autonomous vehicles (AVs).
While the average AV costs up to RMB 1.5 million to make, Apollo Moon is produced at a much reduced RMB480,000 per unit, marking a key milestone in the large-scale commercialisation of fully autonomous ride-hailing services.
The highly affordable robotaxi has a projected operating cycle of more than five years.
“The launch of Apollo Moon is an important breakthrough signifying the powerful linkage between China’s leading autonomous driving technology and the most advanced smart vehicle platform, marking a landmark step in the field of robotaxi ride-hailing services globally,” said Zhenyu Li, Senior Corporate Vice President of Baidu and General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group (IDG).
Baidu and Arcfox have agreed to roll out a fleet of 1,000 Apollo Moon robotaxis in three years. This will enable Baidu Apollo’s fully autonomous ride-hailing services to permeate more urban cities during that time period, achieving the goal of sustainable commercialisation.
Recently, Baidu Apollo began rolling out robotaxi ride-hailing services in Tongzhou area of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, and several other cities.
“As self-driving cars change the future world of transportation, our goal is to bring users a smarter and more convenient travel experience. Arcfox actively pioneers the field of autonomous driving, working closely with leading partners in the industry to create new experiences through the exploration of advanced technology,” said Yu Liu, Chairman of the Board of BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology.