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China’s Didi, GAC to roll out self-driving EV robotaxis

Written by Nikkei Asia Published on   1 min read

The joint venture plans to start production for ride hailing in 2025.

A joint venture between China’s leading ride-hailing app Didi Global and Guangzhou Automobile Group’s (GAC) electric vehicle unit plans to mass produce robotaxis next year.

Didi and GAC Aion New Energy Automobile established the 50-50 venture named Andi Technology in late March, and authorities recently granted it a business license, Didi said on April 7.

GAC Aion is the group company behind GAC’s Aion brand of EVs. The robotaxis will be based on GAC’s all-electric sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and will be equipped with autonomous driving technology developed by Didi.

The robotaxis will be capable of Level 4 autonomy, which denotes full self-driving under certain conditions. Andi expects to begin mass production of the robotaxis in 2025, and to eventually supply about 10,000 vehicles for Didi’s ride-hailing service.

Didi is working with GAC Aion “to accelerate the large-scale commercial deployment of autonomous driving,” Andi general manager Meng Xing said in a press release. Meng also serves as the chief operating officer of Didi’s autonomous driving unit.

Zhang Xiong, the chairman of Andi who doubles as deputy general manager of GAC Aion, said the plan is to cut costs associated with Level 4 autonomous vehicles through mass production.

Didi, founded in 2012, announced a custom-made EV for ride hailing in 2020, but ended up selling its EV business three years later to Chinese EV maker Xpeng Motors.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It has been republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.


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