Baidu Races Ahead of Tesla With Launch of Robotaxi With Detachable Steering Wheel

SINGAPORE—China’s Baidu unveiled a new autonomous car with a detachable steering wheel that it wants to use for its robotaxi service in 2023—up to a year before Tesla Inc. plans to start mass producing a similar vehicle.

Baidu, China’s long-dominant search-engine giant, priced the new model at about $37,000, nearly half of the $71,000 for the previous version of the car that was released in June 2021 with an ordinary steering wheel, the company said in a statement Thursday.