SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese search engine giant Baidu said on Friday it had won a permit to provide a fully driverless ride-hailing service in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
With the permit, Baidu’s Apollo service will deploy 10 fully autonomous vehicles in a technology park developed by the government of Beijing, it said in a statement.
The permit marks a step forward from December, when Baidu said it had been granted a license to test the service. Baidu will now operate driverless robotaxi services in three Chinese cities including Wuhan and Chongqing.
The Beijing-headquartered company, which generates most of its revenue from its internet search engine, has been focused on self-driving technologies over the past five years as it looks to diversify.
(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)