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Didi to start trialling driverless car service in Shanghai

It'll begin testing robotaxis in Jiading district

Photographs: courtesy Didi Chuxing
Rush hour in Shanghai is set to get a little more interesting. Last weekend at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC), Didi Chuxing CEO and Founder Cheng Wei announced that the ride-hailing giant would begin trialling a driverless taxi service here.

Initially confined to Jiading district, 30 different models of so-called Level 4 autonomous vehicles (cars that are fully autonomous in most cases) will be available for passengers. Didi hasn’t disclosed when exactly we’ll see robo-taxis on public streets, but the pilot programme is set to launch 'in a few months', according to the South China Morning Post.

DiDi showcases its autonomous driving fleet at the WAIC in Shanghai

The push for autonomous cars is fuelled in part by safety, an issue Didi has been trying to tackle since last year, as the company was involved in numerous sexual harassment cases, high-profile suspected murders and driving incidents.

It’s not just in Shanghai that Didi wants to put passengers in driverless rides – the company has its sights set on Beijing and Shenzhen next, with hopes to launch the service in all three cities at some point in 2020.

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