Top Banner

Chinese ridesharing firm joins race for autonomous driving by opening US research facility

Chinese ridesharing platform Didi Chuxing has issued a real statement of intent to rivals following the organization's decision to open a research hub in US tech capital Silicon Valley. The Didi Labs center will be located in Mountain View, which is also the home of Google. A statement released by the Chinese company confirmed that it will research facility will focus on 'intelligent driving technologies'.

Founder of Didi Chuxing, and current chairman Cheng Wei has said it will look to merge relationships with key decision makers in cities in order to create intelligent transportation systems to curb the ongoing issue of urban congestion. He said, "Building on rich data and fast-evolving AI (artificial intelligence) analytics, we will be working with cities and towns to build intelligent transportation ecosystems for the future."

It was also confirmed that one of the engineers hired by the Chinese ridesharing firm is Charlie Miller, who was embroiled in a hacking scandal two years ago. Miller, who had been working with Uber tweeted, "My job is to make sure the assisted driving and autonomous systems developed and used by Didi are resistant to external attacks and threat."

In addition the comments from the chairman and new engineer - the Chinese market leaders in ridesharing stated that "dozens of leading data scientists and researchers have joined the team," and that it will focus on "cloud-based security, deep learning, human-machine interaction, computer vision and imaging, as well as intelligent driving technologies."

The research center also hopes to help cities develop smart transportation infrastructure. Didi, which claims almost 90 percent of China's ride-hailing market, announced a tie-up with Uber last year to end a ferocious battle in the surging Chinese market. Didi is the latest Chinese tech giant to open a research center in California, after Baidu's launch last year.