There’s really no shortage of companies working on self-driving cars. Tech companies like Google, conventional car makers like Ford, and even ride-hailing services like Uber are working on their own self-driving cars, just to name a few. We now have to make space for another entry on the list. Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing service which pushed Uber out of China, has confirmed that it’s developing self-driving cars as well.
Didi Chuxing is perhaps the most popular service of its kind in China, so much so that even Apple invested a billion dollars in it. Didi competed ferociously with Uber which led to an agreement between the two, the latter now has a stake in Didi and it departed China with a significant amount of cash.
Didi is now said to be looking for talent in Silicon Valley. It wants to hire engineers and data scientists who will work on its self-driving car program. Didi co-founder and CEO Cheng Wei has also held talks with the ex-director of Intel Labs in China Gansha Wu, he’s also the founder of an autonomous car startup in Beijing called UiSee Technology.
It’s not the only company in China that’s interested in making cars that are capable of driving themselves. Chinese internet search giant Baidu – often referred to as the Google of the People’s Republic – already has a self-driving car program that’s quite advanced. It has started testing self-driving cars in China as well as in California.