DiDi Chuxing has raised over US$500m to develop autonomous driving technology and testing. The funding was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and is the single largest fundraising round in China’s autonomous driving sector.
DiDi started working on AVs in 2016 and upgraded its autonomous driving unit into an independent company in 2019.
The Chinese mobility and convenience platform is aiming to use the investment to launch autonomous fleet operations in China and build a digital infrastructure network based on 5G, AI and IoT technologies.
Data from its platform is already running simulation tests to improve efficiency of research and development, and DiDi is applying experience from its ride-hailing business to its autonomous vehicles.
DiDi has open-road testing license in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, and in California in the US. The Shanghai license includes piloting unmanned autonomous mobility services.