(Reuters) – China's hail fighter Didi Chuxing wants to drive more than 1 million self-driving cars on his platform by 2030, an executive said on Tuesday.
Didi develops autonomous driving technologies and plans to use robotaxis in areas with a lack of moving cars, Meng Xing, chief operating officer of the company's autonomous driving unit, said at an online conference from South China tomorrow post.
The company completed a $ 500 million donation round last month for the autonomous drive unit, which is led by SoftBank Group's Vision Fund 2.
In 2019, Didi announced that it would use autonomous passenger pickup vehicles in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen this year before expanding the 2021 program outside of China.
Auto manufacturers and technology companies in China are investing billions in the autonomous driving industry to compete with Tesla, Alphabet, Waymo and Uber.
While some industry insiders say it will take time for the public to fully trust autonomous vehicles, Meni, who is developing autonomous cars with the Chinese BAIC group (BEJINS.UL), expects autonomous vehicles to be in mass production by 2025.
WeRide, a startup based in Guangzhou, operates a fleet of more than 40 robot axes and a further 60 test vehicles. The three-year company is supported by Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.
Baidu has been offering a robot taxi service in China's southern city of Changsha since this year.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, editorship by David Goodman.)