AutoX, a company in China, with offices in San Jose, California and Hong Kong, has released a fleet of driverless, robotic Chrysler Pacifica minivans as part of a taxi service in Shenzen, China. Reuters reports that the company has backing from a number of big players in China, including Alibaba, Dongfeng Motors, and SAIC Motors (which owns the MG brand and has a long-running joint venture with Volkswagen). Unlike many similar vehicle trials, including Uber’s, there’s no human abroad to take the wheel in the case of an emergency.
As seen in the photos below, the Pacifica isn’t the only vehicle that AutoX has modified with sensors and other driverless technologies. Some Lincoln sedans, and indigenous models, are also part of the mix. But the Pacifica, with a different sensor package than we’ve seen in earlier photos when the AutoX-FCA deal to supply the minivans, seems to be the main attraction in Shenzen.
The company has also released a video showing the AutoX RoboTaxis roaming the streets, picking up passengers and keeping its distance from mopeds and crosswalking pedestrians. The company has also tested driverless vehicles in California, Reuters reports.
The program isn’t yet available to the public to use, even though the company’s video shows occupants aboard. CNN reports that the company plans to start passenger service in a few years, if regulators allow.