China’s Largest Ride-hailing Company Launches Research Lab in Canada

Didi Chuxing (Didi), the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, officially launched its second research facility in North America located in Toronto, Canada on Nov. 20. The company’s first research facility was launched in March 2017 in Mountain View, California.

The new DiDi Labs in Toronto will focus on research into intelligent driving and artificial intelligence.

According to the company, the Toronto lab will be led by Jun Yu, Senior Vice President of DiDi and chair of DiDi’s Product & Design Committee. Yu is described by DiDi as a pioneer of China’s consumer app industry and one of the people responsible for creating many of China’s leading internet products.

Jun Yu, Head of DiDi Labs in Toronto
Jun Yu, Head of DiDi Labs in Toronto (Source: Didi)

SEE ALSO: Didi ANZ to Open Headquarters in Melbourne

“Toronto’s inclusive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship makes it an incredible location for tech investment.” Yu said at the inauguration of the Toronto site, “We look forward to actively contributing to the flourishing local tech ecosystem, and to building deep partnerships for smart and sustainable transportation solutions locally and globally.”

On the same day, DiDi established a strategic partnership with the University of Toronto, explaining that the two partners will explore collaborative projects in areas ranging from vehicle connectivity and autonomy, to artificial intelligence and smart transportation.

DiDi’s smart transportation management system
DiDi’s smart transportation management system now empowers over 20 cities in China, reducing local congestion rates by 10% to 20% (Source: Didi)

The Canadian tech ecosystem has certainly been flourishing over the past few years and shaped the country into a fast-growing, global tech and innovation center. Major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are growing as hubs for startups due to their proximity to key corporate markets in the U.S., local population diversity, and prestigious academic institutions.

Should current trends continue their course, these major cities in Canada may soon be home to many headquarters of foreign companies looking to expand their businesses to the North American market.