BEIJING - Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing aims to operate more than 1 million self-driving vehicles through its platform by 2030, an executive said on Tuesday.
Didi is developing autonomous driving technologies and plans to deploy so-called robotaxis in areas where there is a shortage of ride-hailing vehicle supply, said Meng Xing, COO of the company's autonomous driving unit, at an online conference hosted by South China Morning Post.
The company last month completed a more than $500 million fundraising round for the autonomous driving unit, led by SoftBank Group's Vision Fund 2.
Didi said last year it would start using autonomous vehicles to pick up passengers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen this year before expanding the program outside of China in 2021.
Automakers and tech companies in China are investing billions in autonomous driving to compete with the likes of Tesla Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo and Uber Technologies.
While some industry insiders said it will take time for the public to trust autonomous vehicles fully, Meng said that Didi, which is developing autonomous vehicles with China's BAIC Group, expects autonomous vehicles to be in mass production by 2025.
WeRide, a startup based in Guangzhou, is operating a fleet of more than 40 robotaxis in addition to 60 test cars. The three-year-old company is backed by Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.
Baidu Inc. started offering a robotaxi service in China's southern city of Changsha this year.