China’s Didi aims to operate 1m robotaxis on its platform by 2030

The logo of Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is seen at their new drivers center in Toluca, Mexico, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing aims to operate more than 1 million self-driving cars through its platform by 2030, an executive said on Tuesday.

Didi is developing autonomous driving technologies and plans to deploy so-called robotaxis in areas where there is a shortage of ride-hailing car supply, said Meng Xing, the chief operating officer of the company’s autonomous driving unit, at an online conference hosted by South China Morning Post.

The company last month completed a more than $500 million fundraising round for the autonomous driving unit, led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2.

Last year Didi said it would start using autonomous vehicles to pick up passengers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen this year before expanding the scheme outside China in 2021.

Automakers and tech companies in China are investing billions in the autonomous driving industry to compete with the likes of Tesla Inc, Alphabet Inc Waymo and Uber Technologies.

While some industry insiders said it will take time for the public to trust autonomous vehicles fully, Meng said that Didi, which is developing autonomous cars with China’s BAIC Group, expects autonomous vehicles to be in mass production by 2025.

WeRide, a start-up based in Guangzhou city, is operating a fleet of more than 40 robotaxis plus a further 60 test cars. The three-year-old company is backed by Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

Baidu Inc started offering a robotaxi service in China’s southern city of Changsha this year.

Reuters 

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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