Yesterday, Chinese tech giant Baidu revealed its new all-electric, self-driving cab, which costs just $37,000 (£31,000) to make.
The Apollo RT6 has a detachable steering wheel to give passengers more space and can be hailed with an app.
This is the first autonomous vehicle (AV) from Baidu that does not require retrofitting technology to a traditional car.
A senior corporate vice president at Baidu claims that the AV’s driving capability is equivalent to a skilled driver with 20 years of experience.
At the technology conference Baidu World 2022, Robin Li, co-founder, and CEO of Baidu, said: ‘This massive cost reduction will enable us to deploy tens of thousands of AVs across China.
‘We are moving towards a future where taking a robotaxi will be half the cost of taking a taxi today.’
Apollo RT6 is Baidu’s sixth generation AV, and costs notably less to develop than the other models.
For comparison, Baidu launched Apollo Moon, its fifth-generation unmanned vehicle, in June 2021, costing about $71,000 (£59,000) for the vehicle and driverless kit. It can seat from 2 to 4 people.
It also has space for the installation of desktops, games consoles, luggage racks, and vending machines within its 15.6 feet by 6.1 feet floor space.
According to Baidu, its 9.3-foot wheelbase makes it the size of an A-class car, but it has the space of a B-class car and the experience of a C-class car.
It is a cross between an SUV and a minivan and offers 41 inches (105 cm) of legroom for the two seats positioned in the rear of the vehicle, atop a completely flat floor.
Apollo RT6 has a futuristic exterior with intelligent electric sliding doors, that can be opened via Bluetooth connection, password input, or a phone app.
The AV makes use of 38 sensors when running, including eight light-detection and ranging sensors (LiDARs), 12 ultrasonic radars, 12 cameras, and six millimeter-wave radars.