Didi to launch self-driving pickup service in Shanghai

August 30, 2019 15:52
Didi aims to deploy 30 different types of car models in a trial robotaxi service in a Shanghai district. Photo: Reuters

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing plans to start using self-driving vehicles to pick up passengers in a Shanghai district in a pilot scheme, Reuters reports.

The service will allow customers who hail a vehicle in Shanghai's Jiading district via the Didi app to choose to be picked up by self-driving vehicles, the report said, citing Didi's Chief Technology Officer Zhang Bo.

The cars will still be staffed with a human driver, the executive was quoted as saying at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Friday.

According to the Didi official, over 30 different types of car models will be offered in the pilot service, all equipped with so-called Level-4 autonomous driving capabilities.

The trip distance can exceed 10 kilometers.

Zhang did not provide details on when Didi plans to start the pilot scheme or how large the fleet will be, but said the firm won permits from Shanghai authorities on Wednesday to test its self-driving fleet.

Didi earlier this month said it spun-off its autonomous driving unit into an independent company which will focus on research and aim to deepen collaboration with automakers.

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