Alibaba-backed AutoX has won the race to build the first Level 4 robotaxi production line in China.
Level 4 “mind off” driverless vehicles are fully autonomous and can handle complex urban driving situations. However, a human driver must be available and in a fit state to take control if required. If the human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene, a Level 4 vehicle must be capable of pulling over safely.
AutoX has gained international recognition for its Level 4 vehicles that can handle the difficult situations presented by urban driving in China:
AutoX purposefully designed and built its production line to build its robotaxis with “an extremely high level of accuracy and consistency.”
Here’s a peek inside the production facility:
The production line churns out AutoX’s “Gen5” vehicles that debuted in July 2021.
AutoX’s Gen5 system is able to safely navigate China’s complex urban driving situations using its 50 sensors and a vehicle control unit packing 2200 TOPS of computing power.
28 cameras are combined to capture a total of 220 million pixels per second, six LiDAR modules collect 15 million points per second, and a 4D RADAR system packing 0.9-degree resolution delivers a 360-degree view around the vehicle.
The video shows previously unseen details of the Gen5 system, including providing a close look at the wiring and assembly of the two main sensor towers and blind-spot sensor suites. AutoX’s XCU for powering the autonomous driving software stack and sensors is hidden under the trunk bed to provide room for luggage.
Every robotaxi that comes off the production line goes to the automatic multi-sensor calibration turntable. The wheels are also calibrated and temperature and waterproof testing is performed. All of this means that every robotaxi that leaves the facility is ready to operate autonomously in licensed areas.
AutoX launched the first commercial robotaxi service in China to operate without safety drivers in January. The company has maintained a perfect safety record since and now operates across 65 square miles (168 square kilometers) of Shenzhen.
The company is also aiming for international expansion and last year became just the second company to obtain a driverless robotaxi permit from California’s DMV.
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