China-based technology company Baidu will introduce its fully driverless Apollo Go Robotaxi service for the public in Beijing’s Shougang Park next month.

By using the service, users can hail a ‘robotaxi’ that does not have a safety driver behind the steering wheel.

Users will be able to locate a nearby taxi with the help of the Apollo Go app and hail a driverless ride by themselves through a system of unmanned self-service processes.

The autonomous vehicle has several features to help users identify its location, including virtual reality navigation and a remotely activated horn.

Vehicles can be unlocked by scanning a QR code and health code on the car for identity verification and pandemic mitigation purposes.

Once the user boards the vehicle and clicks on the ‘Start the Journey’ button, the seat belts fasten and the doors close. The trip does not start until all the passenger safety protocol checks have been carried out.

With the 5G Remote Driving Service, human operators can remotely access the vehicles during exceptional emergencies.

At Beijing Shougang Park, one of the venues for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the vehicles will transport users to sports halls, work areas, coffee shops and hotels.

Baidu autonomous driving technology vice-president and general manager Yunpeng Wang said: “In the future, Baidu Apollo will launch driverless robotaxis in more cities, enabling the public to access greener, low-carbon and convenient travel services while continuing to improve the unmanned service process and user experience.

“The commercialisation of autonomous driving can alleviate congestion effectively and help to reach the peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in China.”

Since October, Baidu has been trialling autonomous driving tests for the public in Beijing’s Yizhuang, Haidian and Shunyi areas.

In February, the company introduced its multi-modal autonomous driving Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform to provide AI-powered transportation in Guangzhou.