Xpeng’s Vice Chairman Predicts the Timeline of Robotaxi Business

On Thursday, Xpeng Vice Chairman and Co-President Brian Gu weighed in on the prospect of self-driving taxis, indicating that they are unlikely to become a significant business for at least the next five years.

Gu’s assessment contrasts with Elon Musk’s vision for Tesla, which promotes the development of artificial intelligence software for the eventual commercialization of a robotaxi network.

While acknowledging the transformative potential of robotaxis for mobility, Gu stressed that achieving a fully-fledged commercial operation is still some years away.

Robotaxi Concept (Credits: Tesla)

Speaking to reporters at the Beijing auto show, he stated, “to have a real, full-fledged commercial operation, I think it’s more than 5 years away.”

Gu emphasized that self-driving taxis are not currently a priority for Xpeng in terms of sales and launch planning. Xpeng, a China-based electric car startup expanding into Europe, has highlighted driver-assist software as a key selling point.

Hyundai Robotaxi in Testing

Regarding the outlook for self-driving technology, Gu highlighted the prevalence of testing activities, particularly in China, where there is a strong interest in showcasing technological advancements and achieving milestones.

In parts of China, tech companies like Baidu and Pony.ai have obtained permission from local authorities to operate fully driverless taxis and charge fares. These operating areas include a suburb of Beijing and sections of Wuhan.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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