Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing launches pilot self-driving robotaxi service in Shanghai

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Didi has raised US$500 million from Japan’s SoftBank for its autonomous driving subsidiary.

 Didi’s launch of robotaxis in Shanghai comes just days after it announced plans to deploy more than one million self-driving vehicles through its platform by 2030

Globally, the market is projected to be worth US$65.3 billion by 2027, according to a report from Market Research Future

Commuters in Shanghai can now book self-driving taxis through Didi Chuxing after the Chinese ride-hailing giant launched its on-demand robotaxi service on the weekend.

Using the new app, passengers can take free rides in autonomous vehicles within designated open-traffic areas in Shanghai’s Jiading District as part of the pilot phase of the project.

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Shanghai-built Tesla popular in China after new tax break

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Tesla stores across Shanghai have been crowded with customers after a new tax break earlier this month, with most orders coming for the most affordable electric vehicle, the Model 3 sedan built at the city’s Gigafactory.

The Model 3 orders spiked amid a cooling electric vehicle market in China after authorities gave dozens of electric vehicle makers a new tax break which lowers the cost of buying a Tesla in China to less than 300,000 yuan (about 43,745 US dollars).

“We have more customers these days looking for test drives and more information,” said a salesperson in a Tesla store in Shanghai.

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Self-driving taxis roll out in Shanghai

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A man holds a door to a Didi self-driving car during last month’s World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai. Picture: REUTERS

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing plans to start using self-driving vehicles to pick up passengers in Shanghai and hopes to expand the scheme outside China by 2021.

Local authorities in Shanghai last week issued licences — the first in China — for operational tests of smart and connected cars with passengers in them, that would pave the way for commercial robotaxis in the future.

The licences were given to car-hailing ride service Didi Chuxing as well as to car manufacturer SAIC Motor and BMW that allow them to conduct autonomous driving projects in real urban scenarios.

Each of the three companies are permitted to run 50 vehicles for pilot programs including robotaxis, unmanned deliveries and other autonomous driving services. The licence holders can increase the number of test vehicles after six months if there are no traffic violations.

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Driverless street cleaning trucks begin trial operations in Shanghai

A fleet of driverless street cleaning vehicles has begun trial operations at an industrial park in Shanghai, according to the Shanghai-based news portal The Paper on Friday.

The convoy, which includes a 6m-long truck and a 3m-long minibus, has been designed and developed by Autowise.ai, a Shanghai technology company, for different road widths.

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China’s Aging Population Could Bring Changes to Family Planning Policy

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Shanghai has more than 3 million people aged 60 or older.

In the face of an aging population in the coastal city of Shanghai, the government should improve the social welfare system and encourage more eligible couples to have a second child, a political adviser suggested.

 

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Incredible Opening Ceremony as China Celebrates the Shanghai World Expo 2010

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Visitors to the Spanish pavilion are greeted by a gigantic animated baby

Shanghai celebrated the opening of the 2010 World Expo today with a lavish display of fireworks, fountains and laser lights.  Like the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the event showcased China’s growing economic and geopolitical sway. (Pics)

 

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13 Story Building In China Toppled Over Almost Intact

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The collapsed building is one of 11 in the complex

In June of 2009 a truly bizarre news story surfaced. A nearly finished, newly constructed building in Shanghai toppled over, killing one worker. As can be seen in the photos, the 13-story apartment building collapsed with just enough room to escape what would have been a far more destructive domino effect involving other structures in the 11-building complex. (Pics)

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