Driverless robotaxis are now available for public rides in China

AutoX is eager to tout its robotaxis’ ability to handle real-world conditions after several months of stress testing. In a demo video (below), the driverless van knows how to safely “nudge” past a parked vehicle and deal with a scooter running a red light. The vehicles use a combination of LiDAR, radar and blind spot sensing to get a feel for their environment.

Fully driverless robotaxis are still very rare anywhere in the world, and it’ll take a combination of refined technology and updated regulation before they’re relatively commonplace. This is an important step in that direction, though. They might get a boost in the current climate, though. The COVID-19 pandemic has added risk to conventional ride hailing for both drivers and passengers, and removing drivers could make this one of the safest travel options for people without cars of their own.

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