- • DiDi Neuron: A sleek robotaxi equipped to handle luggage and sleepy passengers
- • Kargobot: DiDi's autonomous trucking business, revolutionizing logistics with over 100 driverless trucks
- • Advanced tech: DiDi Beiyao Beta LiDAR and Orca computing platform bring driverless dreams to life
DiDi Global dropped some exciting news on Thursday, revealing that they're working hand-in-hand with Chinese carmakers to develop self-driving taxis. Better buckle up, because these futuristic rides are planned to hit the streets by 2025.
The Chinese powerhouse didn't stop there. They also showcased a sleek concept robotaxi called DiDi Neuron. This driverless wonder comes equipped with a robotic arm in the back, designed to handle your luggage or give you a gentle nudge if you happen to doze off.
To make the dream of DiDi Neuron a reality, they're collaborating with new energy vehicle manufacturers, including electric car creators. But DiDi's ambitions stretch beyond taxis. They also announced Kargobot, an autonomous trucking business that already boasts over 100 driverless trucks, focusing on logistics and freight services.
DiDi is also making strides in autonomous driving hardware. They've partnered with Chinese tech firm Benewake to develop the DiDi Beiyao Beta LiDAR, a crucial piece of tech for driverless cars. LiDAR systems use lasers to measure distance, helping autonomous vehicles make sense of their environment. They've also created a computing platform called Orca, designed specifically for self-driving cars.
DiDi's bold moves into autonomous tech began with the establishment of their autonomous driving unit in 2016, which became a separate subsidiary in 2019. With funding from major backers like SoftBank, DiDi has been testing robotaxis in various Chinese cities. In fact, they recently launched commercial operations in Guangzhou.
China's government has been supportive of driverless car development, allowing companies like Baidu, WeRide, and Pony.ai to test their creations. DiDi's recent announcements signal a potential easing of regulatory scrutiny, which has been a challenge for the company since its 2021 U.S. listing.
After a cybersecurity investigation, DiDi's app was removed from Chinese app stores and they were ordered to stop signing up new users. DiDi was eventually delisted from the U.S. and is now seeking a Hong Kong public offering. But things are looking up - their app returned to Chinese app stores in January, and they're planning to expand into more Chinese cities.
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