In an interview with Caijing, Didi Chuxing CEO, Cheng Wei stated that the companies aim is to take on Google and Tesla in the self-driving car industry. While this would be very challenging the company appears to be hopeful stating that Didi is well equipped for the struggles ahead of developing this technology.
Didi is a Chinese ride-hailing service (like Uber & Lyft) that has purchased Uber’s business in China allowing it to rise as the king or ride-hailing in China. This year the company raised almost $10 billion in two rounds and it has since hired many new engineers from both Google’s and Uber’s self-driving divisions to push its self into the market.
Chen hopes to not only compete against Tesla and Google but to also cooperate with them in order to make self-driving vehicles both a reality and a way of life.
While Cheng sees Google as the top player in the industry he did say that both Tesla and Baidu would be easier to compete against. He does hold onto his faith though as the company currently owns more than 21 million vehicles at its disposal that could be used to give them an edge in the game.
It was specifically noted by Cheng that their main focus is on self-driving vehicles among all of its recent business engagements. He said, “If Didi fails, we’ll then put the $10 billion we raised into the battle of diversifying [domestic businesses]. This would look tragic to me.”