WeRide Releases Video of Robotaxi Operating Under Extreme Weather and Traffic Conditions

WeRide today released a two-hour uncut video of its recent uninterrupted 40-kilometer Robotaxi road test under torrential rain during evening rush hours as part of its regular road tests for its autonomous vehicles. The video showcases WeRide’s leading Level 4 autonomous driving technology as its Robotaxi safely and smoothly navigates open roads without the need for any human intervention despite the difficult traffic conditions.

China’s complex urban traffic conditions present a wide variety of challenging scenarios for autonomous vehicles. The road test shown in the above video demonstrates WeRide’s capability and extensive experience in delivering stable and consistent self-driving performance across different urban centers.

WeRide partners with auto makers, including Dongfeng Motor featured in the video, by applying its Level 4 autonomous driving technology to their vehicles, to provide autonomous driving service to the public.

“Driving under heavy rainfall during evening rush hours is one of the most challenging scenarios for autonomous driving. We are very pleased with the performance captured by the video,” said Bian Ning, Dongfeng Motor’s Autonomous Driving Project Leader. “We have achieved so much progress by working closely with WeRide and we look forward to delivering more breakthroughs in autonomous driving as a result of this partnership.”

Challenges and solutions of the road test

Heavy rain can cause serious interference to the sensor suite — the “eyes” of the autonomous vehicles, making it extremely difficult to accurately detect surrounding agents. WeRide’s perception, planning- and decision-making algorithms play a critical role to ensure safety.

Traffic lights detection by WeRide’s Robotaxi under rainstorm

The combination of heavy rain and insufficient lighting at night makes it difficult for the cameras on autonomous vehicles to read traffic lights. WeRide’s proprietary camera module is able to automatically and dynamically adjust parameters in response to the change in lighting conditions, and accurately identify traffic signals such as traffic lights and vehicle lights.

WeRide’s Robotaxi driving around heavy trucks

Another common challenge for autonomous vehicles is sharing the road with large and heavy trucks and buses. Large-sized vehicles have bigger blind spots and could block the sensors of autonomous vehicles. WeRide has accumulated extensive and diversified scenarios through continuous road tests. These scenarios constantly train our autonomous vehicles to effectively overcome such challenges.

WeRide’s Robotaxi driving under overpass

Driving under overpasses and on-off ramps present another set of difficulties for autonomous vehicles due to the unstable satellite navigation signal. By fusing data from multiple sensors, WeRide’s autonomous vehicles are always well informed of their locations.

WeRide currently owns a fleet of over 300 autonomous vehicles, through which has accumulated more than 6.5 million kilometers of road test mileage. We look forward to bringing safe, efficient, and affordable autonomous driving rides to more people and cities across the globe.

WeRide’s Robotaxis using Dongfeng Motor’s Aeolus E70

About WeRide

WeRide aims to develop the most advanced autonomous driving technology, which will make our trips safer and more efficient. It has received strategic investment from top-tier global automakers, including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Yutong Group. WeRide is the first startup in the world to hold driverless test permits in both China and the US.

Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and maintains R&D and operation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Anqing, as well as Silicon Valley in the US. It employs a highly skilled team and has extensive domestic and international experience in R&D, business models and business operations.

WeRide launched the first Robotaxi service, completely open to the public, in November 2019 in Guangzhou, covering an area of 144 square kilometers. Since June 2020, WeRide’s Robotaxi service became available to the public through Amap, a popular ride-hailing mobile app in China with 140 million monthly active users. A total of 147,128 trips were completed with more than 60,000 passengers during the first year of WeRide Robotaxi services.

For more information, please visit the website: www.weride.ai

WeRide is a global leading autonomous driving company, developing the most advanced technology to make our trips safer and more efficient. www.weride.ai