Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has become the latest technology company to receive a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California.
In doing so, Didi joins the likes of rivals Uber and Lyft to be granted self-driving permits in the state. The move also signals the company’s intention of expanding beyond the Chinese market and into the U.S with its services.
Didi is one of a host of Chinese technology companies aggressively expanding into the world of self-driving technologies. For example, internet giant Baidu obtained a Californian autonomous testing permit in 2016 and has also established a research center in San Francisco to focus on the technology. Alibaba and Tencent also have self-driving car ambitions, CNBC reports.
Earlier this month, Didi chief executive Cheng Wei revealed that the company had formed an alliance with 31 auto industry companies, including Volkswagen and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to develop a fleet of electric vehicles. By 2028, Didi wants 10 million electric vehicles in its fleet, up from the 260,000 EVs it had in 2017.
“China could play a pivotal role in transforming the existing automotive and transportation structure that has been in place for over 100 years,” Wei said.
“The alliance is a gateway for our transportation industry to elevate itself from a global leader in scale to a global leader in innovation.”