On May 10, DiDi Autonomous Driving, which is the self-driving technology division of DiDi Global, announced a strengthened partnership with GAC AION, subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group). They will set up a joint venture to mass produce electric Robotaxi under a joint project named “AIDI”. This marks an important milestone in the production and operation of L4 autonomous driving EVs.
This announcement also represents the first time that DiDi Autonomous Driving and GAC AION have disclosed any updates regarding their cooperation since forming a strategic partnership in 2021.
This joint venture will be the industry’s first in China between an automobile company and an autonomous driving company to push forward self-driving EVs’ mass production.
The first generation of mass-produced Robotaxis will utilize GAC AION’s latest high-end pure electric exclusive platform, the AEP 3.0 version, which features the X-soul EE architecture and a safety redundancy system specifically designed for Robotaxi use. Additionally, this model will be equipped with DiDi Autonomous Driving’s technology solutions and DiDi Generalized Engine for L4 Autonomous Driving to handle complex urban traffic conditions and long-tail driving scenarios.
The two parties will collaborate to create an advanced L4 self-driving system that caters to passengers’ requirements and delivers a superior riding experience. The initial model is set to be launched in 2025 on DiDi’s shared mobility platform, as part of a comprehensive mixed dispatching system.
“Thanks to the launch of the joint AIDI project, DiDi Autonomous Driving has entered a new phase in mass production, “said Zhang Bo, CTO of DiDi and CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving, “Since this year, DiDi Autonomous Driving has already made many breakthroughs in the self-driving technology and commercialization.” “Since the signing of the strategic partnership, both sides have conducted several rounds of in-depth communication,” said Gu Huinan, General Manager of GAC AION.
Several ride-hailing platforms, including Amap, T3 Go, SAIC Mobility, and ONTIME have introduced Robotaxi services. However, these platforms rely on third-party Robotaxi fleets provided by autonomous driving companies like WeRide and Auto X. On the other hand, Baidu Apollo and Pony.ai have developed their own independent Robotaxi ride-hailing platforms. In contrast to these options, DiDi is one of the few ride-hailing platforms that intends to construct its own fleet of Robotaxis.