New Funding Boosts Didi’s Autonomous Vehicle Arm, Aims For Accelerated Growth


Didi Autonomous Driving, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, has secured a significant financial boost with up to $149 million in funding. The investment comes from two state-affiliated investors, namely GAC Capital, a subsidiary of GAC Group, and Guangzhou Development District Investment Group, both associated with the municipal government of Guangzhou.

Key Takeaway

Didi Autonomous Driving, the subsidiary of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, has secured

49 million in funding from state investors. With this funding, Didi intends to intensify its research and development efforts, expand collaborations, and expedite the widespread commercial use of autonomous driving technology. The support from the local government in Guangzhou is expected to propel Didi’s robotaxi service forward in the city, where its autonomous vehicles have already started commercial operations.

Weathering the Storm

The announcement of the funding injection marks a positive milestone for Didi’s AV unit, which has recently faced challenges due to regulatory scrutiny and a cooling climate for foreign investments in China. However, the subsidiary has emerged from the shadows and is now poised for accelerated growth.

Local Government Support is Crucial

In China, establishing strong relationships with local governments is essential for autonomous vehicle companies to navigate regulatory processes and deploy their vehicles on public roads. With the backing of the Guangzhou municipal government, Didi’s robotaxi service is expected to make significant progress in the city, which boasts a population of 18 million. In fact, Didi’s autonomous vehicles have already begun commercial operations in the Huadu District of Guangzhou since March.

Investing in Research and Development

The new funding will be utilized by Didi to further invest in research and development efforts. The company aims to accelerate the implementation of related products and foster collaborations with industry partners to build a sustainable and open ecosystem for autonomous driving technology. The ultimate goal is to expedite the widespread commercial use of autonomous vehicles.

Future Plans and Partnerships

Didi has set ambitious targets for its robotaxi service, aiming to introduce self-developed autonomous vehicles for public use on a 24/7 basis by 2025. The company has established partnerships with several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Lincoln, BYD, Nissan, and Volvo, to develop the necessary hardware for its autonomous fleet. Additionally, Didi has formed a joint venture with Aion, the electric vehicle subsidiary of GAC Group, to facilitate mass production of electric robotaxis.

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