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(Source photos by AP, Getty Images and courtesy of Waymo) 
Business Spotlight

Ditch the driver: U.S. and China race to make self-driving taxis a reality

As Baidu takes to Beijing streets, Waymo and Cruise fear falling behind

YIFAN YU and CISSY ZHOU, Nikkei staff writers | North America

PHOENIX, U.S./HONG KONG -- China has passed a major mile marker on the road to commercializing self-driving technology: On Thursday, Beijing granted internet giant Baidu the country's first license to operate fully autonomous taxi services.

Apollo Go, Baidu's autonomous ride-hailing platform, began accepting fares the same day. Its fleet of 10 autonomous vehicles serve a 60 sq. km area of the capital, and the company plans to add 30 more driverless taxis in the future.

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