DiDi Chuxing Tests Self-Driving Vehicles in China, U.S.

Chinese ride-hailing leader DiDi Chuxing Technology Co. confirms it is testing self-driving vehicles on public roads in China and the U.S. 

In China, Qoros Automotive Co. tells the Financial Times that DiDi is using two specially equipped versions of its Qoros 5 SUVs (pictured) for tests on a test track near Shanghai and on public streets in Changshu.

The company also is believed to be testing at least one autonomous vehicle at its year-old tech center in Mountain View, Calif.

The China tests are using DiDi’s own software with hardware developed with Qoros and suppliers, according to the company. DiDi has said it aims to offer ride-hailing services that employ driverless vehicles, but it hasn’t said when it will do so.

DiDi is a latecomer to the world of autonomous vehicles. But analysts say the company brings two key advantages in applying the technology to passenger shuttles: a well-established interface for users and a huge database about ride-hailed trips and traffic flow patterns.

Last week Didi announced a partnership with a dozen carmakers to develop an electric car-sharing network in China. The plan will tap the company’s “smart transportation” platform that uses real-time traffic reports and vehicle fleet data.