Image: Visual China
BEIJING, January 7, 2022 (TMTPOST) — Chinese autonomous driving technology provider WeRide announced on Friday that its autonomous bus fleet in Guangzhou International Bio Island has started its official operation.
WeRide’s robobus service is open to residents in Guangzhou.
WeRide’s robobus fleet was co-developed by WeRide and Zhengzhou Yutong Bus. The robobus fleet consists of electric vehicles with no steering wheel, gas pedal or brake. The robobus fleet is powered by WeRide’s cutting-edge full stack software and hardware solutions. Its robobus can go up to 40km/h and can operate in different scenarios, such as highways, tunnels, traffic jams and bad weather.
The company’s autonomous bus service is available in Guangzhou International Bio Island in Guangzhou city’s Huangpu district. Its robobus service currently has two routes in operation – the South Line and North Line. In the future, a West Line will be added to the operation to fully cover the island and connect different traffic junctions on the island. People who are working on the island or visitors can use the service for free. The robobus service is available on both weekdays and weekends. During weekdays, the service is available from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. On weekends, the service is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Guangzhou, WeRide is a tech company focusing on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technologies. The company is said to possess L4 autonomous driving technology and launched China’s first robotaxi operation in Guangzhou in November 2019. As of November 2020, WeRide’s robotaxi service had completed 147,128 rides and provided service for over 60,000 users.
The company also obtained a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct driverless vehicle testing on public roads in San Jose in April 2021.
The company completed its C round financing in May 2021, which brought its valuation to US$3.3 billion. The million-dollar financing was backed by venture capital investors such as IDG Capital and Sky9 Capital.