Didi Chuxing, BYD roll out customized vans for ride-hailing service

In this news, we discuss the Didi Chuxing, BYD roll out customized vans for ride-hailing service.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Didi Chuxing and electric vehicle maker BYD on Monday launched their D1 van model specifically designed for ridesharing services, the first model the rideshare giant has unveiled since it said it was working on such a vehicle in 2018.

SoftBank-backed Didi and Shenzhen-based BYD, backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, began to jointly design and develop the model two years ago.

The vans are said to be available to drivers in the central city of Changsha, China, where BYD builds the vehicles, in December before being shipped to other cities.

The launch of the world’s first volume custom vehicle for ride-sharing highlights how tech companies, from makers of software for autonomous vehicles to car-sharing platforms, are disrupting traditional automakers amid major shifts towards electric vehicles and models in use.

The compact, electric model D1, which was announced by CEO Didi Cheng Wei at an event in Beijing, has a sliding door on its right side to prevent passengers from opening the door and potentially hitting cyclists or pedestrians.

It also has more comfortable seats for drivers and more legroom for rear passengers, Didi chairman Jean Liu said at the event. Liu said the vehicles will come in an “avocado green” color, similar to Didi’s sharing bikes.

Didi has over 550 million registered users and 31 million drivers, from whom it collects data to help develop the vehicle.

In 2018, Didi formed an alliance with automakers to develop cars specifically designed for ridesharing, with the company providing its customers and operational skills to automakers wishing to develop their own ridesharing services in exchange for expertise in carpooling. design.

It has launched several joint ventures with established automakers including Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, BAIC and BYD to develop smart vehicles and fleet management.

Cheng said the company hopes to have one million vehicles with basic autonomous driving capabilities by 2025.

Reporting by Yilei Sun, Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh, editing by Louise Heavens and Paul Simao

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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