Autonomous driving company WeRide announced on Friday that it has officially begun unmanned minibus Robobus services on Guangzhou International Bio Island. The service aims to provide unmanned bus services for local citizens.
This service is another pioneering measure within the realm of unmanned driving operations that WeRide is putting forward after safely operating China’s first Robotaxi commercial service over the last two years. From now on, Robotaxi and Robobus will become WeRide’s two banner travel services and will lead the city in intelligent travel options.
As the first intelligent travel service in China to operate a completely open and unmanned service, Robobus was assembled by WeRide and Yutong Group and adopts pure electric vehicle models without steering wheels, throttles or brakes.
Robobus has a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour and can achieve safe and stable unmanned driving services along urban roads, expressways, and tunnels in rush hours and under inclement weather conditions.
Guangzhou International Bio Island is located within Huangpu District, Guangzhou, where hundreds of enterprises are based, and is a popular choice for citizens to exercise and relax. After a complete investigation of the daily traffic on the island, Robobus opened two operating routes in its first phase and will further offer services throughout the entire island. The service will offer free travel for employees of enterprises on the island and citizens who visit the island for sightseeing purposes.
Robobus operates 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday to Friday but operates from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Services run every ten minutes. Passengers can view real-time locations and the running status of the vehicles on their “WeRide Go” App.
At the initial stage of operation, Robobus vehicles will be equipped with onboard volunteers to help first-time passengers familiarize themselves with the operations of driverless minibuses. During the operation, WeRide Remote Support Center will carry out real-time intelligent monitoring of vehicles. In case of emergencies, passengers can stop the vehicle by hitting an emergency brake button located within the vehicle.
Over the last year or so, Robobus has completed tests in Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, Nanjing and other cities, and has been providing daily commute services for WeRide employees within the Guangzhou International Bio Island area since April 2021. The company has complete safety and service preparations for its official operational start.