Baidu (BIDU) announced the expansion of its Robotaxi service to a fifth city as it targets 25 additional cities over the next three years. The company will begin public testing of the Apollo Go in Shanghai, becoming the first to offer such a service in the three first-tier cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
Baidu is a technology company that offers internet-related services, products, and artificial intelligence.
In Shanghai, the internet giant intends to open the robotaxi service in phases in 150 stations. The Robotaxi service will be available from 9:30 am to 11:00 pm every day of the week. In addition to testing the driverless taxi service, Baidu wants to provide users convenient access to residential, commercial, and office areas.
Additionally, the company has unveiled the first batch of routes in Tongzhou District in Beijing that will cover 22 stations. Baidu plans to make autonomous driving a reality for three million people in China over the next few years, having already accumulated 8.7 million test miles as of August 2021. (See Baidu stock charts on TipRanks)
The push for the robotaxi does not come as a surprise, given the market potential for autonomous cars could exceed $201 billion by 2030. IHS Markit reports that the sector could end up being dominated by two to three robotaxi service providers.
Last month, Erste Group analyst Hans Engel downgraded Baidu to Sell from Hold.
According to the analyst, Baidu faces significant political risks that could interfere with positive developments.
Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 11 Buys, 1 Hold, and 2 Sells. The average Baidu price target of $249.58 implies 52.87% upside potential to current levels.