Volvo to provide cars for Didi Chuxing’s self-driving test fleet

Source: Didi Chuxing

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said on Monday it has signed an agreement to provide cars to the autonomous driving technology unit of China’s top ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing, for its selfdriving test fleet.

Volvo will provide XC90 SUVs equipped with backup steering and braking systems that DiDi Autonomous Driving will integrate with Didi Gemini, its new selfdriving hardware platform.

Didi is currently working toward an initial public offering with a valuation of at least $100 billion.

Just last week selfdriving startup Cruise, which is backed by General Motors Co, said it had raised $2.75 billion in its latest funding round from investors including Walmart Inc, taking its valuation to over $30 billion.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, will initially provide Didi with hundreds of vehicles, with the aim of adding more as the selfdriving test fleet expands, head of strategy Alexander Petrofski told Reuters.

“For us this is a tremendous opportunity because we gain real-world know-how and get to test our vehicles in a real-world environment,” Petrofski said. “This is something we will benefit from when we start rolling out this technology in applications for our customers.”

Petrofski said a few of the vehicles have already been delivered to Didi.

Volvo began providing test cars to Uber’s autonomous driving unit back in 2016. Uber Technologies Inc sold that business to selfdriving car startup Aurora last year and is still using Volvo vehicles.

“This (new agreement with Didi) is in line with our vision to be the partner of choice on a global level” for selfdriving fleets, said Volvo‘s head of autonomous driving strategy, Johan Taws.

The built-in backup systems and safety features on Volvo‘s XC90 cars, combined with Didi’s selfdriving system ,will eventually allow the cars to operate without safety drivers in robotaxi services, Volvo said.

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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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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