Autonomous Vehicle

DiDi’s Autonomous JV granted business license for self-driving robotaxi

April 7, 2024 – DiDi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology arm of DiDi Global, announced Andi Technology Co., Ltd. , the equal joint venture with GAC Aion, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer focusing on innovation and technology, has obtained its business license, representing the registered JV in China for the mass production of fully self-driving electric L4 autonomous Robotaxi. 

Headquartered in Guangzhou, Andi is led by chairman Zhang Xiong, who is also the deputy general manager of GAC Aion, and general manager Meng Xing, the Chief Operating Officer of DiDi Autonomous Driving.

Leveraging the strengths of both entities, the joint venture will roll out a crossover electric SUV as its inaugural model, which is built on GAC Aion’s latest high-end pure electric AEP 3.0 platform and the X-soul electrical and electronic architecture. The model will also feature DiDi Autonomous Driving’s technology solutions, the safety redundancy system and the latest generation of in-cabin entertainment systems for Robotaxis.

The manufacturing plant will produce the first batch of the SUV model in 2025, ensuring full compatibility with DiDi’s automated operation and maintenance center, Huiju Port. Once completed, DiDi expects to integrate the model into its shared mobility network for large-scale mixed dispatching.

The establishment of the joint venture represents a significant step forward in the successful rollout of the first mass-produced vehicle. It marks a new phase of productization in the autonomous driving industry, said Meng Xing, COO of DiDi Autonomous Driving. Moreover, DiDi and GAC Aion are collaborating closely to accelerate the large-scale commercial deployment of autonomous driving, he noted.

The joint venture has positioned us as a pioneer in the autonomous driving industry, enabling us to lead the creation of an early L4 commercial route and the world’s initial closed-loop business model for L4 development that encompasses technology, smart manufacturing and operations, said Zhang Xiong, deputy general manager of GAC Aion. By scaling up L4 production, we would be able to optimize technology-related costs, thereby facilitating the development and broader implementation of advanced intelligent driving, he added.

In May 2023, DiDi Autonomous Driving entered an agreement with GAC Aion to set up a joint venture for mass production of electric Robotaxis. In October 2023, DiDi Autonomous Driving received up to US$149 million in funding. Two entities affiliated with the municipal government of Guangzhou, GAC Group’s wholly owned subsidiary GAC Capital and Guangzhou Development District Investment Group, were the investors.

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