Coronavirus Fears Ground Experimental Robotaxi-Fleets

The coronavirus crisis is having an impact on our daily lives such as our generation has never experienced before. Curfews, hospital emergencies and thousands of billions of euros in aid packages put together by countries to get the economy moving again.

Clearly, the development of autonomous cars is also affected by this. At present, test fleets of several companies with security drivers are on the road as robotic taxi services, and the risk of infecting these groups with the virus has simply become too great.

Waymo temporarily suspended its test drives on March 17, but can still offer its services in Phoenix in Arizona with the completely driverless robot taxis.

GM Cruise also took similar measures. Since March 9th, the cruise automation cars have been grounded in San Francisco.

The Palo Alto-based Start-Up Voyage, which offers a robotic taxi service for senior citizens, has temporarily suspended this service as of March 19, especially with regard to the particularly vulnerable customer group.

Other companies that have temporarily suspended their trips include Uber, Aurora, Argo AI and Pony.ai. All companies expect their fleets to return at the earliest to resume testing in mid-April, depending on how the pandemic develops.

This article was also published in German.

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