Baidu’s ApolloGo robotaxi may be profitable next year, one step ahead of Tesla

Chinese technology company Baidu (BIDU-US) said on Wednesday (15th) that its Apollo Go robot taxi unit expects to be profitable next year.

Chinese technology company Baidu (BIDU-US) said on Wednesday (15th) that its Apollo Go robotaxi unit expects to be profitable next year.
Baidu is one of the major players in China\’s emerging robo-taxi market and obtained a license for driverless ride-hailing services in Beijing District 1 to start charging fees in November 2021.
After that, he obtained commercial robotaxi licenses in Wuhan and Chongqing.
While most vehicles still have an employee monitoring them for safety reasons, in September 2023 the same Beijing region officially allowed Baidu and startup Pony.ai to charge for ride-hailing robotaxis.
Baidu\’s most recent financial report stated that Apollo Go operated approximately 839,000 trips in the last three months of 2023.
About 45% of orders in Wuhan in the fourth quarter were fully driverless, up from 40% in the previous quarter.
In addition to increasing usage and lowering labor costs per ride, Baidu has also lowered vehicle costs. According to Baidu\’s announcement on Wednesday, Apollo\’s sixth-generation robotaxi costs about $28,169, which is less than half the price of the previous generation.
Baidu plans to deploy 1,000 sixth-generation robot taxis in Wuhan this year. Baidu currently operates a number of unmanned robot taxis in Wuhan.
Baidu said in a press release: \”With falling costs and increasing orders, Apollo Go\’s unit economics (UE) are close to breakeven and are expected to reach balance in the fourth quarter of 2024 and become profitable in 2025.
” According to a report in late April on the website of the Securities Regulatory Commission, Baidu’s rival robotaxi operator Pony.ai is preparing to list outside China.
Doubts from peers & Tesla competition The auto industry remains rife with skepticism about fully driverless cars, which require extensive regulatory approval to operate.
Brian Gu, vice president of Xpeng Motors, said last month that he did not expect robotaxis to become a real business for the automaker for at least five years.
However, Elon Musk, CEO of the electric car giant Tesla (TSLA-US), may not think so. Early last month, he posted on his own media social platform X that Tesla would launch autonomous driving on August 8. Taxi Robotaxi.
At the same time, Musk has closed or postponed several core tasks for the rapid growth of electric vehicle sales during Tesla\’s global layoffs and said Tesla\’s main focus will shift to FSD fully autonomous driving and robot taxis.

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