Ride hailing app launches self-driving taxi service in Shanghai

Passengers can now book self-driving taxis in Shanghai, as seen at the Shanghai Automobile Exhibition Centre on Thursday. The robotaxis are operating for free in the city's Jiading District as part of a pilot program being carried out by Chinese giant ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing. «The experience is good, the whole driving experience is steady and smooth, I didn't experience harsh brakes. But I feel like sometimes the car cannot identify the blocked areas accurately due to some technical limitations. The speed is like the normal driving speed. For example, the car would drive as 50km/h (31mph) on a road with 60km/h (37 mph) speed limit,» a passenger said. The self-service currently includes a human driver at the wheel for safety reasons. The robotaxis are equipped with about 20 cameras and sensors, including one ultrasonic radar, which allow them to monitor nearby traffic and see what a human driver would consider blind spots. Many Chinese big cities have green-lit open-road testing for autonomous vehicles. Didi has announced that plans to deploy more than one million self-driving cars through its platform by 2030.

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