The three-year-old company, which is finalizing its Southeast Asia plan, expects to deploy ten autonomous vehicles for early-stage experiments in one market to trial robotaxi and robo-trucking services, said AutoX Founder and CEO Xiao Jianxiong, commonly known as Professor X, in a recent interview. The company aims to first build a successful model in one market with the initial batch of vehicles before it increases the car fleet to up to 100 and expands into more jurisdictions in Southeast Asia, said Xiao. Fully autonomous vehicles in China AutoX’s ambition in Southeast Asia comes as improved safety, growth of connected infrastructure, and transition from car ownership to mobility-as-a-service (Maas) are fueling the growth of the global autonomous vehicle market.
The market is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 39.47 per cent, reaching $556.67 billion by 2026 from the estimated $54.23 billion in 2019, according to Allied Market Research. The global autonomous vehicle development is now led by the United States, which is home to 163 autonomous driving companies, shows a ResearchAndMarkets.com report. While America already saw Alphabet’s self-driving division Waymo rolling out “completely driverless cars” – which literally means no safety driver behind the wheel – in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona this October, Chinese players are still conducting road tests and collecting data to improve their technologies. “By the end of 2022, at least one city in China should be able to achieve what Waymo is doing in Arizona, i.e. charging passengers for completely self-driving services without trained safety drivers upfront,” said the 37-year-old founder, who was previously an assistant professor at Princeton University leading the Princeton Computer Vision and Robotics Lab. “All top cities in China, including Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, have the potential to take the lead,” he said.
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