DiDi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology arm of Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”) and GAC Aion New Energy Automobile, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group (“GAC Group”), reached a strategic partnership agreement on the development of fully self-driving new energy vehicles with the goal of mass production.
Under the new agreement, the two parties will explore a joint venture partnership and project cooperation for smart vehicle development, bringing together DiDi Autonomous Driving’s hardware and software R&D capabilities with GAC Aion’s new energy vehicle engineering and manufacturing expertise. The parties will co-develop a self-driving new energy car model for large-scale commercial application with the aim of entering accelerated mass production, through innovating across primary areas such as the drive-by-wire system, self-driving sensors and system integration.
“DiDi will continue to increase investment in R&D in self-driving technology to make future transportation safer and more efficient. GAC Group has been DiDi’s important partner in our automotive industry ecosystem. We are very pleased to explore deep collaboration with GAC Aion to jointly develop a truly factory-installed fully self-driving car model for mass production,” said Zhang Bo, CTO of DiDi and CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving.
“The development of self-driving technology will accelerate the full arrival of the shared mobility era. The GAC Aion-DiDi partnership on autonomous driving brings two industry powerhouses together and will play a leading role in the coming mobility transformation, which has great industrial significance and broad market prospects,” said Gu Huinan, General Manager of GAC Aion.
DiDi launched its autonomous driving project in 2016 and upgraded it to a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2019. In June 2020, DiDi Autonomous Driving launched an on-demand robotaxi service in Shanghai. In March 2021, the Company announced a strategic partnership with the Huadu District of Guangzhou to invest in R&D in self-driving technology and commercial applications in the District.