WeRide, a China based L4 autonomous driving mobility company, announced the launch of a new joint venture company – WeRide RoboTaxi, together with its strategic partners including Baiyun Taxi Group, the largest taxi company in South China under Guangzhou Public Transport Group, and SCI (Guangzhou) Group.
The three companies will jointly develop robo-taxi services enabled by autonomous driving technology. Following leading venture capitals, top car makers and high-tech enterprises, mobility industry is now part of WeRide’s joint forces with the goal to provide Mobility as a Service (MaaS) for the China market with WeRide’s leading L4 autonomous driving technology.
WeRide RoboTaxi will be founded in Guangzhou, the centre of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. This is the first of its kind in Tier one cities in China after Baidu’s robo-taxi was launched in Changsha. WeRide also becomes the first company to achieve partnership with a traditional taxi company on robo-taxi services.
WeRide has been focusing on the strategic alliance among AI technology companies, car makers and mobility service platforms. The founding of WeRide RoboTaxi marks the successful cooperation of the three key players in autonomous driving and a promising ecosystem to commercialise AD consisting of many leading companies including Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, NVIDIA, Baiyun Taxi, Johnson Electric, China Unicom and more. WeRide and its strategic partners have been collaborating on vehicle retrofit, algorithm optimisation, fleet operation, 5G network applications and more. WeRide RoboTaxi will continue benefiting from such strong network support for its future operations.
WeRide, together with Baiyun Taxi and GAC launched the first L4 autonomous driving taxi in China in November 2018. This time, WeRide will deploy strategic partners’ vehicle models to WeRide RoboTaxi, and more EV models will join the fleet in the future.
With the continued efforts in road testing and market promotion, WeRide is constantly exploring ways to commercialise AD. It targets to reduce the cost of labour and hardware per vehicle by applying leading L4 AD technology till full self-driving is achieved. WeRide also works to increase the fleet operation efficiency to become profitable.
Zhicheng Deng, Chairman of Guangzhou Baiyun Taxi Group, said, “Baiyun Taxi is committed to promoting the development of public transport in smart cities. The cooperation with WeRide has implanted genes of technological innovation into the traditional taxi industry. We will employ autonomous driving technologies to stay lead and continue to play an important role in the public transport sector in the future of smart cities.”
SCI (Guangzhou) Group commented, “SCI Group will fully leverage our 30 years of experience in the IT industry and contribute to the implementation and development of intelligent network in Guangzhou. Through a set of key policy initiative for high-tech enterprises like WeRide, we intend to make Guangzhou and more cities in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area a pioneer in the new era of autonomous driving.”
Tony Han, CEO and Co-Founder of WeRide, said, “Our joint venture is a robo-taxi company targeting new mobility business. Its founding marks a milestone in the progress of AD commercialization of WeRide. We will join hands with more partners throughout the mobility industry to explore more possibilities of autonomous driving in a much wider range. We are always committed to creating safer, more economical, convenient and comfortable mobility with our autonomous driving technology.”