AutoX launches robotaxi operations in San Francisco

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

AutoX who is regarded as the front-runner in Level 4 fully autonomous robotaxis in China, has also opened a new U.S.-based operations center in San Francisco. With the move, the company intends to further expand its AV testing capacity in the city.

Previously, AutoX robotaxis have been testing in the greater San Jose, California, area since 2016. Globally, AutoX is currently testing and deploying robotaxi fleets in five cities, including San Francisco and China’s megacities Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing.

“We want to deploy the AutoX robotaxi fleet in many cities to serve hundreds of millions of people, as well to improve and become a part of communities around the world”, says Dr Jianxiong Xiao (a.k.a. Professor X), founder and CEO of AutoX. “

robotaxi operations centers are purpose-built facilities for supporting the daily operations of large robotaxi fleets and large-scale data collection from the vehicles. In Shenzhen, AutoX operates four operations centers scattered across the 1,000 square kilometers service area.

At the same time, the company has announced that it has expanded its robotaxi fleet to 1,000 vehicles in total. This is what the company calls a groundbreaking moment since it represents a leap forward for larger scale commercialization. For comparison, according to publicly available sources, Alphabet’s Waymo (the U.S. leader in AV) is estimated to have around 800 vehicles in their fleet, while Baidu in China is said to have around 300, AutoX says in a press release.

The AutoX robotaxis run on regular public roads in the cities. They can take unprotected left turns at busy intersections, make side passes on streets and do several more maneuvers that seem trivial for human drives but are rather difficult to handle for computer-controlled systems.

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