Electric Vehicle Insight: The EV race to build the RoboTaxi

Leading EV manufacturers such as Waymo, Cruise, Baidu & Zoox are fast tracking their design & build of the new RoboTaxi, to get passengers on the road

In Amsterdam 1965, the first public bike share initiative was implemented, with locals able to hop on one of the Witte Fietsen (‘White Bikes’) and cycle off to their destination, leaving the bike for another person to use. Since then, transport technology has evolved, allowing smart cities to offer the public a range of electric bikes to take them to work, to school, to brunch or straight home. 

But for those who need to travel with family or luggage, a bike is not ideal. Car manufacturers are developing the technology to support autonomous taxis, or Robotaxis, to help passengers navigate busy cities with ease. 

Alongside wireless charging and battery swapping technology, Robotaxi’s were included in our recent Top 10: Innovations in Electric Vehicles

Here, we look at some of the big players in Robotaxi development. 

Baidu: Meeting users needs with autonomous driving 

Baidu was founded in China, in 2000, with a goal to meet internet users'​ diverse needs, with a robust future in mind. 

In 2022, Baidu presented its limited-edition EV, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition, which was kitted out with autonomous driving features. Priced at US$55,300, the EV was manufactured using semiconductors made by US suppliers, Qualcomm and Nvidia. 

Its production was also a joint venture with Chinese private-sector automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

Cruise: Advanced self-driving EVs

Cruise aims to manufacture the most advanced self-driving vehicles in the world. Founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, the company has hired more than 1,600 staff for its offices in greater Seattle, Pasadena, Phoenix and Munich. 

Cruise is the only self-driving company with fully integrated manufacturing at scale, building all-electric, zero-emission, self-driving vehicles. The company has a dream to reduce city emissions and support those who live in dense urban settings.

General Motors, Honda, Microsoft, SoftBank, T. Rowe Price, Walmart and other businesses have helped to raise US$10bn for Cruise’s expansion.

Zoox: Driven by AI

Amazon's Zoox is manufacturing an autonomous, purpose-built EV fleet designed for AI to drive. This mobility-as-a-service offers shuttle rides in Foster City, California, with eyes on Las Vegas next. Its four inward-facing seats come with seatbelts, but there are no pedals and no steering wheel. 

Tesla: Investors are ready to leave driving in the dust

Tesla's Autonomy Investor Day is on Monday 22nd April 2024 - a day for Tesla to showcase its autonomous driving technology.

"On Investor Autonomy Day, Tesla will free investors from the tyranny of having to drive their own car," tweeted CEO Elon Musk.

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