SAIC Mobility Starts Public Trials of Robotaxi Service in Shanghai

SAIC Mobility, a unit of top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, in conjunction with autonomous driving startup Momenta, have begun offering autonomous robotaxi test rides to the public in a Shanghai district as part of a trial, the company said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The first 20 robotaxis, based on SAIC’s Feifan-branded Marvel R electric SUV, were put into trial operation in Shanghai’s Jiading district today. In addition, the robotaxi experience center in Jiading also opened to the public.

On the homepage of the new version of SAIC Mobility App, users can order a car as long as they are within the permitted range of the autonomous driving route. Compared with other autonomous driving projects, SAIC Mobility Robotaxi has reduced the barriers between reservation and certification. Music and air conditioning temperature can also be set within the app’s interface.

Jin Meihua, project manager of SAIC Mobility Robotaxi, explained the company’s efforts to make things simple for passengers, “We have integrated robotaxi into our original car-hailing business, and users do not need to download any new apps, nor do they need to make an appointment for complicated operations such as test rides.”

SAIC Mobility Robotaxi provides passengers with the largest and highest-definition touch screen in the industry. Passengers can quickly identify their personal info and match orders using face recognition.

At present, Robotaxi only provides services in Shanghai but SAIC plans to boost the test fleet in Jiading next year by adding another 20 vehicles. The company is also looking to expand trial rides in the neighbouring Chinese city of Suzhou with an additional 20 vehicles. By 2022, over 200 robotaxis are expected to land in Shenzhen.

SAIC Mobility Robotaxi was mainly developed by SAIC Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Momenta and SAIC Mobility.

The vehicle is integrated using autonomous driving software and hardware provided by SAIC Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, SAIC Passenger Car Technology Center, DIAS and other SAIC subsidiaries.

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Momenta provided the software and hardware solutions for the project, which carries a computing platform with a computing power of 600 Tops, according to SAIC’s announcement. “Vision + Radar” solution allows the vehicle complete 3D vision.

With the help of Fin Shine’s cloud platform and the Momenta Framework, the SAIC Mobility Robotaxi team opened up the data transmission channels on the premise of ensuring data and network security.