Emerging Technologies

China's tier-one cities are the testing ground for robotaxis

The detail of Hyundai Robotaxi car is seen during a presentation ahead of the Munich Motor Show IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany.

Robotaxis are being tested in China's major cities. Image: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Emerging Technologies?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how The Digital Transformation of Business is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Technological Transformation

  • Major cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai are being used to test driverless taxis, or 'robotaxis'.
  • Robotaxis' market share is expected to grow to around 5%, which could impact car sharing and ride-hailing.
  • A number of Chinese tech giants are fighting to control the robotaxi market, with businesses like Didi and Baidu building more autonomous cars.

Tests with driverless taxi services have been underway in China's major cities, also called tier one cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. Still a novelty today, robotaxis are expected to experience a quick rollout in China's main metropolises. Numbers by McKinsey & Company show that less than ten years down the line, driverless taxis are projected to service between a fifth and a quarter of all kilometers passengers travel on shared mobility in those cities.

Have you read?

The projected expansion of robotaxis' marketshare will negatively affect both ride-hailing and ride-sharing/car rental. Still, in the growing Chinese market, there is plenty of room as shared mobility passenger kilometers are expected to grow from 177 billion in 2020 to approximately 450 billion by 2030.

Discover

How is the World Economic Forum ensuring the responsible use of technology?

Across all of China, robotaxis are expected to hold a market share of around 5 percent of shared mobility kilometers by the same time. Of course, Chinese tech giants want a piece of the new segment, with internet powerhouse Baidu squaring off against ride-hailing giant Didi. Baidu, which builds autonomous cars together with its business partners, has pledged to build 1,000 driverless vehicles in the next three years, while Didi is also rolling out its driverless taxis in a trial phase. Guangzhou, another Chinese tier one city, meanwhile is the testing ground for the robotaxi fleets of startups WeRide, which partners with Nissan, and Pony.ai.

Percent of shared mobility passenger kilometers travelled in China's tier one cities, by type of service.
Share of distance travelled on different modes of transport in China. Image: McKinsey & Company
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Emerging TechnologiesIndustries in Depth
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Immersive technology, blockchain and AI are converging — and reshaping our world

David Treat and Michael Klein

June 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum