Apple-backed Didi Chuxing will be opening an artificial intelligence lab for self-driving cars in Mountain View, California. While Didi Chuxing has made investments in many regional ride-hailing services in Southeast Asia, this will be its first time expanding officially outside of the Asian continent.
Apple had invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing last year.
The company will be working on the technology behind self-driving cars at its new lab like AI-based security for transportation and intelligent driving systems. It has already poached many engineers from Uber and Google to work for it. This includes Charlie Miller from Uber and Jio Zhaoyin from Google’s Waymo arm.
Mountain View is also the home to many other self-driving companies and startups including Google’s Waymo and Uber. While Didi Chuxing is working on its own self-driving technology, it looks unlikely to me that the company will collaborate with Apple on it despite the latter investing $1 billion in it.
As for Apple’s own self-driving car, the company has all but given up on it as per the latest reports and is instead working on an autonomous driving platform. This will allow the company to potentially partner with other more experienced car makers and share its technology with them.