WeRide Marks One-Year Anniversary of Robotaxi Service, Publishing China’s First Robotaxi Passenger Survey Report with Tsinghua University
(November 25th, 2020, Guangzhou, China) WeRide announced that a total of 147,128 trips were completed for more than 60,000 passengers during its first year of Robotaxi service. Marking its one-year anniversary of Robotaxi operation, WeRide has joined hands with Institute of Transportation Engineering, Tsinghua University, to conduct a Robotaxi passenger survey and publish China’s First Robotaxi Passenger Survey Report. The Report shows that nearly 30% of the surveyed WeRide Robotaxi passengers are loyal riders who use the service at least once a week, and 37% of respondents say they are now ready for the fully driverless Robotaxi.
WeRide Becomes Most Experienced Robotaxi Operator with Continuous Publicly Accessible Service
WeRide, China’s leading L4 autonomous driving mobility company, launched its Robotaxi service in the Huangpu and Guangzhou Development District of China’s southern first-tier city Guangzhou, on November 28, 2019. It is the nation’s first Robotaxi service to be fully open to the public. The service is easily accessible through the company’s ride-hailing app WeRide Go. In June 2020, WeRide Robotaxi service extended its availability on Alibaba’s Amap (also known as AutoNavi), a national mobility aggregator service platform, gaining access to a more mature mobility service market.
Within its 144 square kilometers of service range in the center of the District, WeRide has set up more than 200 pick-up and drop-off spots, fulfilling people’s various mobility demands. From 8am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday, WeRide’s Robotaxis drive between residential areas, office buildings, shopping malls, subways and bus stops, sharing the load of urban mobility demand together with traditional types of transport. The past year has witnessed WeRide Robotaxi’s gradual integration into people’s lives as it becomes a familiar sight on Guangzhou’s streets.
Over its first 365 days of operation, WeRide Robotaxi has left the first footprints of China’s L4 autonomous driving commercialization. Tony Han, Founder and CEO of WeRide, noted: “Our operation data and research reports show that WeRide has achieved remarkable results in its ongoing expansion of bringing Robotaxi service to the public, as well as gaining recognition from both the industry and the public. WeRide has, on the one hand, turned a new page for self-driving commercialization, and on the other secured a head start for the commercialization of fully driverless service.”
China’s First Robotaxi Passenger Survey Report Released, Echoing Perceptions on Self-Driving Industry
WeRide’s Robotaxi operation over the past year provides a good opportunity for in-depth exploration of the impact made by self-driving technology. It is in this context that WeRide and Institute of Transportation Engineering, Tsinghua University, conducted their research and published China’s First Robotaxi Passenger Survey Report.
As revealed in the Report, WeRide has won a group of loyal users from the traditional mobility market since its launch a year ago. 28% of passengers use the service at least once a week and 15% ride at least three times a week. The continuous expansion of its service to the public has helped WeRide secure an advantageous place in the mobility market, offering us a glimpse of self-driving’s potential impact on urban transportation.
WeRide Robotaxi’s main passenger group lies in the young and middle-aged demographic. Nearly 90% of the surveyed passengers are full-time employees; nearly 80% have an education background of undergraduate or above and most of them have a driver’s license. Most of these passengers come from the traditional taxi/ride-hailing car market. Nearly 60% of passengers use WeRide’s Robotaxis for their regular commute.
WeRide has received recognition from riders for its operation. “In-vehicle cleanliness”, “safety driver performance” and “app user experience” score relatively high in the survey. As for the ride experience brought by self-driving, “courtesy to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles” and “driving safety” are also rated as rather satisfactory.
About 80% of the respondents say they will keep on using WeRide Robotaxi in the future or recommend it to their friends, colleagues and family members. Nearly 90% of passengers hope to see the service expanding to more areas. Such data is evidence of existing Robotaxi users’ great confidence in self-driving technology and willingness to embrace and promote new mobility methods.
This passenger survey report has been highly praised as a valuable guide for the self-driving industry by Ruimin Li, Associate Professor at Tsinghua University and Director of Institute of Transportation Engineering. He said: “The mass application of self-driving technology will impact on urban transportation systems in many ways. However, due to the lack of real case studies of self-driving operation, many ideas remain unsubstantiated. This past year’s operation of WeRide Robotaxi in Guangzhou provides a good opportunity for an in-depth exploration of the wide-ranging impact brought by self-driving technology.”
As the first to try out self-driving services in China, WeRide Robotaxi’s passengers have a more rational and optimistic attitude towards technological development and the commercialization of fully driverless service. According to the report, 37% of the passengers surveyed say they are “ready now” to embrace the idea of riding the fully driverless Robotaxi, while 39% expect to be able to do so after safe road tests are carried out for one year.
With fully driverless tests progressing smoothly, WeRide will launch a by-appointment trial program to the public
WeRide is advancing fully driverless services at full steam. Since obtaining China’s first fully driverless road test permit in July 2020, WeRide has carried out road tests for more than four months, logging a driverless test mileage of more than 40,000 kilometers.
As Robotaxi celebrates its one-year anniversary of operation, WeRide reveals its plans to launch a fully driverless ride trial program (by-appointment) to the public, further promoting autonomous driving technology and leading the industry forward.
“WeRide is the first company in China to have launched Robotaxi services to the general public. As a direct driving force for the technology’s commercialization, WeRide’s safe and rigorous approach to its operation has instilled confidence amongst the public, the government and the industry. We will stick to the same principles of steady advancement while working towards the commercialization of fully driverless Robotaxi service.” Tony Han said: “We are planning to launch a fully driverless Robotaxi service in the next three to four years. Transforming human mobility with autonomous driving is our initial aspiration and remains the mission WeRide holds dear to its heart ever since the company’s inception.”
About Institute of Transportation Engineering, Tsinghua University
Institute of Transportation Engineering is an academic research institute at Tsinghua University. Officially established in 2007, the Institute is dedicated to research areas that include: traffic planning and management, intelligent transportation systems, traffic information and control, intelligent vehicles and traffic safety. As a leading research institute in the field of transportation planning in China, it has undertaken multiple endeavors of innovative research in areas such as the theory and methodology of economic circle transportation planning, sustainable transportation theory and traffic congestion mechanism analysis & countermeasures. Intelligent transportation systems are another important focus for the Institute, which has completed a number of major national, provincial and ministerial-level projects, producing significant findings.
WeRide is a smart mobility company in China that creates leading L4 autonomous driving technologies. We have committed ourselves to new mobility services that will be accessible and beneficial to everyone. WeRide is China’s first L4 autonomous driving technology start-up company to obtain strategic investment from top-tier global automaker. WeRide is the first in China and second in the world to test fully driverless cars on open roads. We employ a highly skilled technology team of more than 300 employees globally, 70% of whom are R&D engineers. Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and maintains R&D and operation centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Anqing, as well as Silicon Valley in the USA.
For more information, please visit website: www.weride.ai; twitter/Medium/LinkedIn: WeRide.ai; YouTube: WeRide Autonomous Driving.