China: GAC Aion, the electric vehicle subsidiary of GAC Group, announced on May 17 the strategic cooperation with DiDi Autonomous Driving as both parties plan to jointly develop new driverless new energy vehicle (NEV) model.
Under the agreement, the two companies will explore a joint venture partnership and project cooperation for intelligent vehicle development, combining DiDi Autonomous Driving’s hardware & software R&D advantages with GAC Aion’s NEV design & manufacturing capabilities and the resource of autonomous car platform. The duo will co-develop a self-driving NEV model for large-scale commercial application and move at full force for the vehicle’s volume production, through the innovation across such basic areas as drive-by-wire chassis, autonomous driving sensors, and system integration.
“DiDi will continue to increase investment in the R&D of autonomous driving technologies to make future transportation and travelling safer and more efficient. GAC Group has been an important partner of DiDi’s automotive industry ecosystem. We are pleased to explore in-depth collaboration with GAC Aion to co-develop a fully driverless factory-installed car model available for mass production,” said Zhang Bo, CTO of DiDi and CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving.
GAC Aion is among the automakers who are vigorously pushing ahead with the validation and market launch of the vehicles that can perform Level 3 and above self-driving functions in specific scenarios. The company launched last year the Aion LX capable of Level 3 autonomous driving thanks to the ADiGO3.0 autopilot system. To ensure a safe automated driving, the developer affords the Aion LX with HD map, high-precision LiDAR, and smart cameras. Besides, the production model armed with the ADiGO 4.0 system is expected to hit the roads next year.