Self-Driving Startup AutoX Deploys its Robotaxis in Shanghai

AutoX announced today that its autonomous vehicles are now available on China’s AutoNavi navigation app, which is one of the most popular navigation services in China. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba bought AutoNavi for US$1.5 billion in 2014.

Beginning today, riders will be able to summon a robotaxi on Autonavi’s ride-hailing platform, which is known as Gaode in China. The service is launching in Jiading, a district in the northwestern part of Shanghai with a population of more than 1.5 million. The region will serve as the main coverage area for the service.

Users can either request a regular car with a driver like an Uber, or a self-driving robotaxi from AutoX. The Gaode app’s algorithm determines which vehicle to dispatch based on the earliest time of arrival.

The AutoX RoboTaxi launch in Shanghai is the first time an autonomous ride-hailing service is available on a major ride-hailing platform in China, according to the company.