Self-driving cars are taking years to become a reality, but they won’t take forever

the spotlight It’s brightened up many areas since autonomous driving had its own time in the sun, but progress in technology pushes forward. It’s clear that the dream of not having to drive ourselves isn’t dead, given the increasing number of bot miles, increased marketing, and other headlines.

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There is a lot of good news to discover. Today, the Chinese technology giant Baidu revealed an interesting set of data points regarding Apollo Go, it is an “autonomous transport service”:

Apollo Go, Baidu’s autonomous transportation service, provided around 660,000 rides in the first quarter of 2023, up 236% year-over-year and up 18% quarter-over-quarter.

The company also reminded investors that Apollo Go was the first to receive permits in Beijing to “operate ride-sharing services without a driver or security operator in the vehicles” in March.

So, assuming an average trip of, say, two miles (3.2 kilometers), Apollo Go racked up a million miles north in the first quarter alone. That’s a lot of autonomous driving.

Baidu’s update follows other driverless car team progress reports: Cruise a couple of months ago he said it had completed “one million fully driverless miles” in the 15 months since it began offering fully driverless rides.

We also covered Cruise’s geographic expansion in early May:

Cruise is rolling out its self-driving cars to more cities, specifically Houston and Dallas as it expands its presence in Texas. Cruise already began testing its vehicles in Austin late last year and announced plans to start testing its purpose-built Origin robotaxis there in early 2023.

Alphabet’s autonomous Waymo effort has also expanded its own area of ​​operation:


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