Published on April 21st, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Volvo Cars To Work With DiDi On Self-Driving Fleet
A new partnership with China’s DiDi Chuxing for autonomous XC90 SUVs from Volvo.
Volvo Cars has been at the forefront of autonomous driving technology for years now. They have their own in-house programme in Sweden, a programme with Uber in the US and now with Didi Autonomous Driving. DiDi Autonomous Driving is an arm of DiDi Chuxing, a HUGE vehicle-for-hire company in Beijing.
This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together. Last year, Volvo Car supplied them XC60s to use in Shanghai’s first robotaxi pilot programme. These robotaxis could be booked by users, and while autonomous, would be safely monitored by a safety driver and an engineer.
Volvo XC90 SUVs equipped with backup systems for steering and braking will be supplied to DiDi, who will integrate additional hardware and software before tests begin.
DiDi’s self-driving hardware platform is called DiDi Gemini. These XC90s will be the first to come equipped with it.
Here’s the press release with more.
Volvo Cars, a global leader in automotive safety, and DiDi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology arm of Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobility technology platform, have signed a strategic collaboration agreement on autonomous vehicles for DiDi’s self-driving test fleet.
Volvo Cars will provide DiDi with XC90 cars equipped with necessary backup systems for functions such as steering and braking, and collaborate with DiDi Autonomous Driving to integrate the additional software and hardware required to make it fully ready for autonomous drive.
The XC90 cars will be the first to integrate DiDi Gemini, DiDi Autonomous Driving’s new self-driving hardware platform and are intended to be deployed for ride-hailing in DiDi’s network in the future.
The agreement reinforces Volvo Cars’ position as a provider of cars and the partner of choice for self-driving fleets, building on its reputation as a global leader in automotive safety.
The built-in backup systems and safety features on the XC90s, combined with DiDi Autonomous Driving’s advanced self-driving system, will eventually allow the cars to operate without safety drivers in robotaxi services.
Building on today’s agreement, Volvo Cars and DiDi Autonomous Driving look to build a long-term partnership as DiDi continues to expand its autonomous test fleets across China and the US and scales up its commercial robotaxi operations.
As the world’s leading shared mobility technology platform, DiDi uses its deep expertise in network operation and large bank of real-world driving data to develop commercial autonomous transportation services by collaborating with the world’s premium car makers.
In 2020, Volvo Cars provided DiDi with Volvo XC60s for use in Shanghai’s first pilot robotaxi programme. People in certain areas of Shanghai could book trips by robotaxi in the DiDi app and be driven autonomously, while the cars were monitored by a safety driver and engineer.
Volvo Cars’ partner-of-choice ambition comes as ride-hailing firms around the globe seek to expand their fleets with fully autonomous cars in a safe and responsible way. The reputation of Volvo Cars as a global leader in automotive safety is a strong asset as it pursues this ambition.