China built the first electric car designed exclusively for ride-hailing

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The D1 is a partnership between Didi Chuxing and BYD

Two of China’s top companies have joined forces to design, develop, and build an electric car for the express purpose of ride-hailing.

The vehicle is an adorable green hatchback called the D1, and it was developed by Didi Chuxing, the top ride-hailing company in China that notoriously defeated Uber in 2016, and BYD, one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers. The D1 will have a range of 418 km (260 miles) as judged by NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). They also explained some of the more interesting design touches that make this vehicle particularly well-suited for app-based ride-hailing.

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Cars could go completely driverless ‘very soon,’ says CEO of Chinese autonomous driving tech start-up

AutoX rolls out self-driving robotaxis in Shanghai’s ride-hailing market

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Despite current regulations and safety concerns over self-driving cars, the time that cars could really go driverless is coming “very soon,” according to Jianxiong Xiao, CEO and founder of AutoX, a start-up developing autonomous driving technology based in Shenzhen.

It had received approval from Shanghai authorities to roll out a fleet of 100 autonomous ride-hailing cars in Shanghai’s Jiading district in September last year.

Backed by investors such as Alibaba, Shanghai Motor and Dongfeng Motor, AutoX is one of the players in the multi-trillion U.S. dollar Chinese autonomous driving vehicles market alongside others like DiDi Chuxing.

The time that cars could go completely driverless is coming “very soon,” according to Jianxiong Xiao, CEO and founder of AutoX, a Shenzhen-based start-up developing autonomous driving technology.

Continue reading… “Cars could go completely driverless ‘very soon,’ says CEO of Chinese autonomous driving tech start-up”

Self-driving taxis roll out in Shanghai

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A man holds a door to a Didi self-driving car during last month’s World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai. Picture: REUTERS

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing plans to start using self-driving vehicles to pick up passengers in Shanghai and hopes to expand the scheme outside China by 2021.

Local authorities in Shanghai last week issued licences — the first in China — for operational tests of smart and connected cars with passengers in them, that would pave the way for commercial robotaxis in the future.

The licences were given to car-hailing ride service Didi Chuxing as well as to car manufacturer SAIC Motor and BMW that allow them to conduct autonomous driving projects in real urban scenarios.

Each of the three companies are permitted to run 50 vehicles for pilot programs including robotaxis, unmanned deliveries and other autonomous driving services. The licence holders can increase the number of test vehicles after six months if there are no traffic violations.

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China’s driverless future farther off than first thought, report predicts

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As a number of Chinese tech companies put the pedal to the metal in the race to dominate the autonomous vehicle industry, a major global information provider is proceeding with caution with regard to predicting the industry’s near-term growth

Driverless cars won’t be widely available for online hire in China until around 2025, according to a report published Friday by London-based research firm IHS Markit.

While researchers recognized the potential of autonomous vehicles to make travel more efficient, they warned that the need for policymakers to regulate emerging industries will put the brakes on the switchover from conventional vehicles.

Nonetheless, by 2035 China is expected to be home to some 33.6 million autonomous vehicles, around 10% of the world’s total, the report added.

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