DiDi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology arm of DiDi Global, announced today during its Shanghai Autonomous Driving Day event plans to introduce its first mass-produced Robotaxi to DiDi’s ride-hailing platform by 2025. DiDi
Autonomous Driving also shared a number of new initiatives and updates during the event, including the latest commercial development for its Robotaxi business, the debut of its brand new autonomous trucking business Kargobot, and its first concept Robotaxi “DiDi Neuron” as well as updates on autonomous driving hardware, namely the co-developed DiDi Beiyao Beta LiDAR and the self-developed Orca, a three-domain fusion computing platform.
“Building on DiDi’s extensive experience in shared mobility services and cutting-edge technology, DiDi Autonomous Driving aims to become a large-scale commercial autonomous driving company operating L4 autonomous vehicles, to create a full self-driving service network for our users,” said Zhang Bo, CTO of DiDi and CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving, “We believe the introduction of a mixed dispatching system that combines autonomous and traditional vehicles within a shared mobility network is the future of transportation efficiency.”
At the event, DiDi Autonomous Driving unveiled the latest milestone in its mass production and commercial operation of electric Robotaxis. By collaborating with New Energy Vehicles manufacturers in areas including vehicle platform selection, cockpit & intelligent driving system development, its first mass-produced electric Robotaxi model is expected to be incorporated into DiDi’s shared mobility network and integrated into a large-scale mixed dispatching system by 2025.
At the Autonomous Driving Open Day, DiDi Autonomous Driving also debuted a new autonomous truck business named Kargobot, aiming to enhance the automation capability of trucks amid the growing truck driver shortage.
Currently, the Kargobot business already has more than 100 autonomous trucks in operation and the fleet has conducted regular trial operations between Tianjin and Inner Mongolia.
Since 2021, DiDi Autonomous Driving started to explore trunk logistics freight scenario and scaled up the R&D and commercial operations for bulk commodities based on its cloud platform and technologies. At present, Kargobot has a full-stack technology development capability of L4-level self-driving trucks and has developed Hybrid Driverless Solution (HDS), a fleet consisting of an assisted, human-driven pilot truck with multiple L4 autonomous trucks.
In addition to the Kargobot launch, DiDi Autonomous Driving also unveiled its first concept robotaxi, the DiDi Neuron. The Neuron reflects DiDi’s vision of the future of Robotaxi.
In the interior, Neuron features an in-vehicle robotic arm that can pick up luggage, wake passengers up and retrieve items from throughout the cabin. DiDi Neuron has further removed the driver’s seat to maximize space and comfort.
During the Open Day, DiDi Autonomous Driving also released two new pieces of hardware designed for autonomous driving: DiDi Beiyao Beta LiDAR and Orca, a three-domain fusion computing platform.
Co-developed with Chinese technology company Benewake, DiDi Beiyao Beta LiDAR is the first 2K resolution-level high-precision LiDAR in China; while the DiDi Autonomous Driving’s self-developed Orca computing platform is the first mass-produced three-domain fusion computing platform, integrating the Smart Driving Domain, Cockpit Domain and Netlink Domain. Compared to the previous generation, Orca achieved achieving savings in both space and manpower, having reduced the total in-vehicle space by 74%, the number of core components by 61%, and the number of wire harnesses by 33%.
With a current fleet of more than 200 Robotaxis, DiDi Autonomous Driving has prioritized safety since the launch of on-demand Robotaxi service in Shanghai in 2020. “DiDi’s Robotaxi service has a robust safety record and has been safely operating for 1020 consecutive days,” said Meng Xing, COO of DiDi Autonomous Driving. “In order to meet users’ diverse and evolving mobility demands now and in the future, we will continue to optimize our Robotaxi service by continuing to improve rider experience.”
DiDi launched its autonomous driving project in 2016 before establishing it as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2019. In March 2023, DiDi Autonomous Driving started its commercial operation in Huadu District of Guangzhou by accepting fee-based orders. Earlier this year, DiDi Autonomous Driving launched the first 24-hour, non-stop Robotaxi service in China. DiDi Autonomous Driving also operates an automated operation and maintenance center, Huiju Port, allowing autonomous vehicles to automatically accept rides, charge battery, undergo repairs and maintenance and park when not in use.