Driverless cars aren’t the future — they are the present! AutoX is testing fully self-driving vehicles in China’s Shenzhen metropolis.

 The Alibaba-backed AutoX said Thursday that it was the first time that a “fully autonomous fleet”, without a human driver or remote operator, has been on the roads in China.

But this isn’t something China has done for the first time. A number of “robotaxi” projects have been launched in various Chinese cities.

Driverless cars are the future – the present, rather – of the automobile industry. (AutoX Photo)

However, these automobiles have a driver who can take over in emergencies or somebody who can function the automotive remotely.

Stress Assessments

Middle of this year, AutoX started to carry out driverless “stress assessments” to see how the vehicle performs in various road situations.

More than 100 robotaxis are being tested across Chinese cities, with 25 fully autonomous vehicles in Shenzhen.

As enticing and futuristic as it may sound, AutoX’s completely driverless cars are not open to the general public yet.

They are only available to employees and private guests, such as media, business partners, investors and auto-makers, according to CEO Jianxiong Xiao.

Following this major milestone, what comes next is increasing the number of cars and the test area size. More tests need to be carried out in more cities outside to fully ensure its safety.

“We have now a plan within the subsequent six months to develop to 10 cities globally,” AutoX COO Jewel Li shared.

The tests will probably be done in Southeast Asia. She didn’t specify which.

“We’re very excited concerning the Southeast Asia market, we expect that is the following rising market,” she mentioned.

“It’s close to a sci-fi kind of experience for most of our riders,” she said. “When you really experience the vehicle fully driving itself, the level of excitement is overwhelming.”

Li noted that AutoX has an advantage in Southeast Asia compared to other autonomous driving systems developed and tested in the West, because streets in Asia are more similar to those in Chinese cities.

AutoX also has a pilot self-driving taxi service in Shanghai and a permit to test driverless cars without a safety driver in parts of San Jose, California.

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