China looks to be on cusp of one of biggest automotive transformations ever

Self-driving taxi companies are taking off in China, as the country looks to be on the cusp of one of the fastest transformations in transportation, Reuters reports.

Shenzhen-based Byton, which uses an upgraded version of Tesla’s Autopilot to guide the robotic cars through traffic, has received more than 200,000 pre-orders for the vehicles, including VIP customers and small-business owners who’ve promised to ride in the cars at prices ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

Similar to San Francisco-based Valmet’s Human Machine Interface (HMI)-equipped cars, Byton’s self-driving cars are also equipped with top-notch sensors, allowing them to effectively respond to drivers and pedestrians, making road chaos a thing of the past.

Valmet last month rolled out the very first one of the self-driving cars to hit the roads in the country’s Guangdong province, and its “easy to use” driver’s assistant and “optimized” GPS-based navigation suggest that the company’s initial 2016 launch is off to a very fast start.

Related Image Expand / Contract (Valmet)

The robotic cars are part of a multi-pronged transportation strategy, which also includes driverless scooters and bikes. According to Chinese officials, the autonomous vehicles will eventually be able to complete up to 10 percent of the country’s transportation needs by 2023.

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