Caocao Mobility, a Geely-backed online ride-hailing platform, started cooperation related to robotaxis on September 5 with the Smart Driving Center of the Zhejiang Geely Automobile Research Institute. They plan to build China’s first open commercial smart driving travel platform centered on robotaxi operations and a data service business.
Chu Yao, the head of Future Travel Group, Caocao Mobility, said that leveraging on experience and advantages the firm has accumulated in shared mobility, it plans to open the platform to nationwide access by various mobility companies or autonomous driving companies, and gradually establish a nationwide Caocao Robotaxi operation network. According to Chu Yao, “Caocao Mobility strives to become the first Robotaxi mobility platform in China to launch L4 commercial operations nationwide.”
Hu Jinlong, deputy director of the Smart Driving Center of the Geely Automobile Research Institute, said that the Center will provide integrated solutions for Caocao Mobility in terms of system software development and underlying platform construction. With the advantage of its massive amounts of mileage data, Caocao Mobility makes data feedbacks to the Smart Driving Center, thereby forming a closed loop of data and accelerating the iteration of smart driving technology and algorithms.
Geely is advancing rapidly in its R&D of intelligent driving technology. Early last year, Geely reached a strategic cooperation with Xiangcheng District of Suzhou on smart driving project. Geely will establish a global R&D center for smart driving in Suzhou High-Speed Railway Sub-District (North Hejing Sub-District). On October 31 last year, Geely Auto Group CEO Jerry Gan released the “Smart Geely 2025” strategy at Hangzhou Bay Research Institute, and announced the goal of commercializing L4 automated driving by 2025.
Zhou Zheren, the head of the Smart Driving Center of Caocao Mobility, said that while the unit travel cost of robotaxis is slightly higher than that of a regular cab at this stage, it is expected that by 2025, the travel cost of robotaxis will be only about 1 yuan per km, as factors such as the realization of true driverlessness and the reduction in cost after mass production of self-driving hardware become available. With decreasing costs, robotaxis will become the primary solution for daily travel.
According to IHS, an automotive consulting service, the market scale of shared mobility in China will reach 2.25 trillion yuan by 2030, of which robotaxis will account for 60%, and the scale will reach 1.3 trillion yuan. According to the research prediction of EqualOcean Intelligence, by 2030, China’s intelligent transportation market will reach 10.5 trillion yuan, of which three markets, robotaxis, robotrucks and intelligent driving Tier-1 suppliers, are over one trillion yuan.