Car manufacturers often want to show concepts of autonomous cars without a steering wheel, and Baidu is now close to implementing such a vehicle in the real world.
The tech giant has unveiled a new robo-taxi, the Apollo RT6, with a removable steering wheel. Such an option will offer more space for passengers, so it will be possible to add new seats, desks or even game consoles, he writes. Engadget.
The RT6 will, of course, use Baidu’s latest autonomous driving technology (level 4 – fully autonomous driving under certain conditions), which uses a total of 38 sensors, including eight LiDAR units and 12 cameras, designed to navigate in urban environments. In addition, the design of the vehicle itself, which includes a flat floor, sliding doors and “interactive” lights, should make the journey more pleasant for passengers.
However, the most important thing is that the vehicle is ready for production, and according to the available information, companies in China will have to shell out about 37,000 dollars for their example. The Apollo RT6 robo-taxi is set to go into service for the first time with Baidu’s Apollo GO service in 2023.
The relatively modest price of the vehicle will allow the company to “roll out” tens of thousands of vehicles across China, and a future is predicted in which robo-taxi rides will cost half as much as conventional taxi services. While it may not be good news for taxi drivers, autonomous taxis could soon become a ubiquitous phenomenon and service.