The new company will “integrate the resources and technological advantages of DiDi’s platform, continue to increase investment in [research and development] of core innovative technologies, and deepen collaboration with upstream and downstream auto industry partners” and will work with transportation authorities to “create a safer mobility environment,” according to the release.
The announcement comes on the heels of a $600 million investment from Toyota Motor Co. late last month to expand the company’s mobility as a service efforts in China. The joint-venture will create a new company as well — GAC Toyota Motor Co. — and provide vehicle-related services to ride-hailing drivers on DiDi’s network.
The new autonomous vehicle company, which was not named, will kick off several staffing changes at the company. For one, DiDi’s chief technology officer, Bo Zhang, will head the new company as chief executive. Zhaoyin Jia will lead research and development in the U.S., and Jianquiang Zheng will lead R&D in China.
DiDi has 550 million active users worldwide, and a global footprint that spans Australia, Brazil, China, Japan and Mexico.
DiDi was not available for comment at press time.