A fleet of Pony.ai’s self-driving vehicles. /China Media Group

China began piloting commercial autonomous driving services in Beijing on Thursday in the latest step in its application of self-driving technology.

Baidu and Pony.ai, two strong players in the autonomous driving business, have been granted the first batch of commercial licenses covering 60 square kilometers in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area in Yizhuang, southeast suburb of Beijing.

On the premise of fair market competition, service providers can adopt a market-oriented pricing mechanism, but are required to make information such as charging principles and payment methods clear to passengers, authorities said.

“This time, we licensed two enterprises for commercial pilot operation,” Jie Fei, executive deputy director of the office of the Beijing High-level Automated Driving Demonstration Area, told China Media Group (CMG). “People will be able to hail autonomous cars from more than 700 points with nearly 100 cars available.”

Baidu is reported to have over 600 pick-up and drop-off points operating from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the pilot area. Pony.ai will set up some 200 points from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the company said in a post on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.

The licensing signifies the testing of Baidu’s services to see whether users are willing to pay, and is also an effort to build a healthy competition mechanism, Wang Shengnan, head of Baidu’s autonomous driving commercial operation, told CMG.

“It’s a step forward to make autonomous driving a real mobility service,” Wang said.

Peng Jun, co-founder and CEO of Pony.ai, said the unmanned testing and the pilot of commercial autonomous driving services “mark that the development of autonomous driving technology has entered the next stage.”

Weibo’s plan to go public in Hong Kong shrouded in uncertainty by Beijing’s tough new data regime

China’s e-commerce crackdown: timeline of Beijing’s actions to bring tech giants in line with national policy

Beijing Winter Olympics’ legacy may be upholding spirit of participation, not threat of boycotts

China’s latest fines on Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu show Beijing’s anti-monopoly commitment

Beijing promotes ideal of clean, civilised internet as it seeks increased international cooperation in cyberspace

China’s top trade negotiator Liu He meets foreign business dignitary in Beijing for first time in two years

China vs video games: why Beijing stopped short of a gaming ban, keeping Tencent and NetEase growing amid crackdown

China’s top science and technology advisory commission emerges from the dark as Beijing charts future economic course

China’s semiconductor talent shortage poses biggest obstacle to Beijing’s chip self-sufficiency ambitions, SMIC founder says

Beijing 2022 organizers promise high-tech, green, safe event

Buick’s Cooking Up An Electric Concept To Show Off in Beijing

Beijing tightens Covid-19 entry rules ahead of Olympics

Beijing to discuss efforts to clean, control the internet at ‘cyberspace civilisation’ conference

Bilibili sees better-than-expected revenue in third quarter, defying Beijing’s crackdown on live streaming and gaming

Chinese cryptocurrency media outlets suspend websites as Beijing shows zero tolerance on virtual assets

A year of living dangerously: Timeline of Beijing’s crackdown on China’s once high-flying edtech sector

TECH NEWS RELATED

Xiaomi to build its first electric vehicle factory in Beijing suburb

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is building its first electric vehicle factory in the outskirts of Beijing, according to a local government announcement, marking an important step for the firm as it vies for a slice of China’s booming EV market. The Beijing-based company inked a deal on Saturday with ...

View more: Xiaomi to build its first electric vehicle factory in Beijing suburb

Xiaomi to open car plant in Beijing with annual output of 300,000 vehicles - Beijing govt

The Xiaomi logo is seen at a Xiaomi shop in Shanghai, China May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo SHANGHAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK) will build a plant that can produce 300,000 vehicles annually in Beijing for its electric vehicle unit, authorities in the ...

View more: Xiaomi to open car plant in Beijing with annual output of 300,000 vehicles - Beijing govt

BYD Qin Pro Catches Fire While Parked Underground in Beijing

On the evening of November 22, a man took his family to have dinner in Beijing. He left the car charging. When he got back, apparently, the driver heard a strange noise, took his baby out of the vehicle, and saw his BYD Qin Pro catch fire.

View more: BYD Qin Pro Catches Fire While Parked Underground in Beijing

First 'robotaxis' enter service in Beijing

An ‘Apollo Go’ autonomous taxi on a street in Beijing. It looks like a normal car but the white taxi by the kerb has nobody driving it, and communicates with customers digitally to obtain directions and take payment. Beijing this week approved its first autonomous taxis for commercial use, ...

View more: First 'robotaxis' enter service in Beijing

Baidu Officially Launches Robotaxi Service In Beijing After Getting The OK To Charge Fees

Chinese technology giant Baidu has launched its robotaxi service in Beijing, China and started collecting fees from paying customers. Baidu has been testing autonomous robotaxis throughout the city for over a year and earlier this week, received regulatory approval allowing it to start collecting fares from users. The company ...

View more: Baidu Officially Launches Robotaxi Service In Beijing After Getting The OK To Charge Fees

Beijing looks into setting up digital asset exchange to push the e-yuan

China is exploring setting up a virtual asset exchange as the government lays out the next step to complement its pilot of the digital yuan, according to a blue print published on the State Council website on Friday. The idea is among a wide range of developmental plans for ...

View more: Beijing looks into setting up digital asset exchange to push the e-yuan

Beijing asks ride-hailing giant Didi to delist from US: report

Ride-hailing giant Didi has been asked to draw up a plan to delist from the United States over data concerns. Regulators in China have asked ride-hailing giant Didi to draw up a plan to delist from the United States over data concerns, a report said Friday, as Beijing continues ...

View more: Beijing asks ride-hailing giant Didi to delist from US: report

Baidu begins commercial robotaxi services in Beijing

China’s tech giant Baidu officially launched an autonomous ride-share service in the capital city Beijing, after receiving the country’s first permit for commercial robotaxi services. Why it matters: This is the first time that the Chinese government has allowed companies to legally charge Uber-like fees to the public for their ...

View more: Baidu begins commercial robotaxi services in Beijing

Tesla to invest $188 mln to expand Shanghai factory capacity - Beijing Daily

Hong Kong must capitalise on global financial trends to maintain hub status, pro-Beijing think tank says

US-China tech war: Beijing draws up three-year plan to revamp state technology system

Metaverse and NFT gain traction in China despite Beijing’s wariness, as media firm 36kr issues ‘digital collectibles’

Baidu, Pony AI granted China’s first licences to charge passengers for self-driving taxis in Beijing

Baidu, Pony.ai approved for robotaxi services in Beijing

US-China tech war: Beijing calls on Washington to stop further dialogue with Taipei on supply chain resilience, semiconductors

Beijing lectures Alibaba, Baidu cloud units over fraudulent websites amid internet clean-up campaigns

Li Keqiang meeting with local government heads shows Beijing is on high alert for mounting economic headwinds

US-China tech war: Beijing’s semiconductor ambition faces fresh headwinds as Washington adds pressure on SK Hynix

Beijing’s campaign to ‘discipline’ celebrities expands to what they can do on social media

Kuaishou revenue rises 33 per cent in third quarter amid Beijing’s tech crackdown, competition with ByteDance

OTHER TECH NEWS

;