|Completely driverless cars are on the streets in China|
Dec. 4, 2020 3:15 AM ET|About: Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)|By: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor
Self-driving cars without human drivers as a back-up are now being tested in China's Shenzhen, according to Alibaba-backed (NYSE: BABA) AutoX, which said there were 25 vehicles operating in the city.
More than 100 robotaxis have been launched in other Chinese localities, but the vehicles still have a driver who can take over in emergencies or someone who can operate the car remotely.
"The next step is to increase the number of cars and the test area size, and to carry out tests in more cities," COO Jewel Li told CNBC's Squawk Box Asia. "We have a plan in the next six months to expand to 10 cities globally."
"It's close to a sci-fi kind of experience for most of our riders," she added. "When you really experience the vehicle fully driving itself, the level of excitement is overwhelming."
While the company's driverless robotaxis are not open to the general public yet, employees and private guests, such as media, business partners, investors and automakers, can make trips in the vehicles.