CEO of Didi Chuxing, Cheng Wei, announced at the roundtable forum of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) 2019 that his company will expedite the manned Didi autopilot tests in Shanghai and will invite ordinary users to participate in the experience. “In the future, we will invest more in autopilot companies, allowing ordinary users to try driverless cars through Didi,“ said Cheng.
On the same day, Didi’s autopilot team tested their fleet of ten Lincoln cars in the unmanned experience site of the WAIC 2019 covering an area of more than 36,000 square meters.
Didi’s unmanned cars currently certify as L3 autonomous vehicles, meaning that the automobile is controlled by an automatic driving system, but the driver needs to be in the front seat ready to take over the emergency control at any time. In April 2018, Didi qualified for testing their autopilot technology in California. In August of the same year, the company was allowed to conduct road tests in Beijing. Didi is currently testing L4 (highly automated) autonomous driving in China and the United States.
Cheng also shared some strategic objectives that Didi is planning to hone in on in the future. Smart transportation and autonomous driving were among those prioritized.
Didi’s autonomous driving business was established in 2015. Earlier this month, the company announced that their autopilot division has been upgraded to an independent company. CTO of Didi, Zhang Bo, will head the new autopilot enterprise, focusing on autopilot R&D, product application and related business development.