Didi Chuxing has built the world's first electric vehicle which is tailored for ride-hailing services. Dubbed the D1, it has been co-developed with BYD which is the world's largest manufacturer for electric vehicles. The D1 cars be rolled out in major cities in China towards Didi's leasing partners.
"Shared intelligent mobility is the optimum solution for the future of transportation. With the continued development of autonomous driving and AI technology, people will be able to enjoy a better travel experience through shared mobility," said Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei, over a decade ago and now this dream is coming to fruition.
The D1 is an embodiment of over 550 million registered passengers and 31 million drivers. Didi does around 60 million trips per day which is an astounding number considering it is restricted to the Chinese market.
This is why a sophisticated automotive system has been developed for the D1.
"During the process of countless product upgrades, we realized that we were not satisfied with the progress we made on improving user experience. Therefore, we decided to focus our efforts on the vehicle itself. As an industry first, DiDi has integrated the needs of hundreds of millions of users into the design of D1 by leveraging our data analytics and user feedback. Our product design team analyzed almost 10 million advice and feedback, alongside survey results from over 10,000 drivers and passengers, as well as tens of workshops. There are many impressive stories to tell," said Jean Liu, the president at Didi.
The D1 establishes a connection between the automaker and the ride-hailing platform. It will be initially unveiled under a pilot programme in Changsha in December before it will have a wider rollout.
As for its unique features - there is a lot going on.
- It comes with an L2 assisted driving system including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and pedestrian collision warning. It even gets a driver monitoring system, a steering wheel with safety alerts and response functions and an AI voice and video monitoring and analysis system leverage Didi's computer vision platform that recognises faces and objects.
- The car features an all-in-one driver assistance system which interacts with the human driver thorough a dashboard pad, an onboard vice assistant and a smart steering wheel. The smart driver integrates the full ride-hailing service stack including driver verification, pickup and drop off, to payment and customer service. There is also an energy management system for real-time recharging and maintenance support.
- Its 12.8 kWh battery has a range of 100 kilometres. The smart driver system is linked with a fleet management system that helps larger operators on track and optimises operational status.
- It even features colour coded lights, sliding door designs for the fast and safe pickup and drop off. The vehicle offers passengers extra space and greater control of in-vehicle environmental and infotainment settings. It also features an ergonomic design for comfort for the driver.