Didi, T3 Go, and Caocao Mobility Are Promoting Unmanned Ride-hailing Services

In recent years, the competition in the online ride-hailing industry has become increasingly fierce. Autonomous driving has become an important focus for online ride-hailing platforms. Didi, T3 Go, Cao Cao Mobility and other online ride-hailing platforms have successively announced their plans for autonomous driving and proposed “small goals”.

Didi released two core hardware components for autonomous driving – the “Beiyao Beta” LiDAR and the three-domain fusion computing platform “Orca”. They also announced plans to introduce their first mass-produced autonomous vehicle model into Didi’s shared travel network by 2025.

T3 Go and QCraft jointly launched the public operation of Robtaxi in Suzhou, and plan to achieve a commercial operation of 1000 L4 autonomous driving vehicles by the end of 2026.

Cao Cao Mobility has reached a strategic partnership with Geely Auto to build an autonomous driving commercial operation ecosystem around the ride-hailing platform, which includes vehicle interior space development, customized cars, intelligent driving and vehicle services. The aim is to explore the commercialization of autonomous driving technology.

Ride-hailing companies such as Didi, T3 Go and Cao Cao Mobility are deploying self-driving ride-hailing vehicles in order to bring new momentum to the saturated ride-hailing market.

In 2022, the scale of China’s online ride-hailing market was approximately 314.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 1.38%, with a user base of 437 million people, down by 3.32% compared to the previous year. In addition, the market transaction scale (growth rate) from 2018 to 2021 was ¥286.5 billion (about $40 billion USD) (24.83%), ¥305.8 billion (6.73%), ¥269.1 billion (-12.01%), and ¥319 billion (18.54%).

Taking Didi as an example, according to financial report data, in 2022 Didi achieved operating revenue of ¥140.8 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 19%. The net loss was ¥23.8 billion (about $3.4 billion USD), narrowing by 52% compared to the previous year, among which China’s travel business revenue decreased from ¥1605 billion in 2021 to ¥1259 billion (about $177 billion USD ) in 2022 with a decline rate of 22%.

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According to statistics, as of April 30th, 2023, a total of 309 online car-hailing platform companies have obtained operating licenses for online car-hailing platforms nationwide. A total of 5.406 million online car-hailing driver’s licenses and 2.3 million vehicle transport certificates have been issued across the country.

According to publicly available data in December 2022, among urban transportation industries (excluding aggregation platforms), Didi’s active user penetration rate reached 19.27%, Didachuxing’s was at 8.75%, Huaxiaozhu Dache’s was at 2.89%, T3 Go’s was at1.92%, CaoCao Mobility’s was at1.08%. The active user penetration rate for other platforms is less than one percent.

Nowadays, major ride-hailing platforms are actively seeking new market growth points and transformation directions, with the focus of competition shifting to autonomous driving, and there is still a long way to go.