Didi Chuxing sets up JV with China EV maker BAIC-BJEV; next-gen connected car systems; Transportation Brain
Didi Chuxing, the world’s leading one-stop transportation platform, announced a new joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., an affiliate of BAIC. BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology Co. Ltd (JingJu) aims to combine the two companies’ strengths in new energy fleet operation and AI transportation solutions to develop next-generation connected-car systems.
Jingju is a key component of a DiDi-BAIC strategic partnership formed in a growing alliance between DiDi and auto-industry players. DiDi started partnership programs with automakers and fleet operators in 2016, and launched the DiDi Auto Alliance, an industry-chain partnership network in April 2018.
Xiaoju Automobile Solutions（XAS）was soon created to build out a collaborative driver/car-owner service platform through integrated auto-finance, leasing, trading, charging and refueling, and maintenance operations.
With the support of policymakers, China is accelerating its systemic transition to new energy vehicles. BAIC has announced plans to stop the manufacturing and sale of gas-driven car models by 2025. Today, close to 400,000 new energy vehicles are registered with DiDi in the world’s largest shared EV network, many through the company’s partnerships with leading EV manufacturers including BYD.
To build a sustainable and more robust shared mobility ecosystem, XAS is also attracting OEMs, dealers and independent fleet operators to put their fleets on DiDi’s open car-sharing program to share DiDi’s scale of operation, service standards and data capabilities. XAS now serves drivers/car-owners on DiDi and beyond through the main DiDi app and a separate XAS app.
Transportation Brain comes online. In late December 2018, Jinan Transportation Brain, a partnership between DiDi and Jinan city’s transportation authorities, went into full operation. (Jinan is the capital of eastern China’s Shandong province, and home to more than 6.8 million people spread over 8,177 km2.) As DiDi’s first city-level transportation brain project (an integrated solution for smart city traffic management), Jinan marks the “graduation” of the initiative from research and trial to full application.
The DiDi Smart Transportation Brain concept has been adopted by more than 20 Chinese cities and is guided by three principal features: Discover, Decide and Deploy. Integrating DiDi’s robust anonymized traffic data, as well as data resources from local government and business partners, the solution facilitates real-time data leveraging cloud computing and AI-based technologies to provide cities with a range of transportation infrastructure improvements, including traffic flow measurements, “Smart Traffic Signals,” reversible lanes, and traffic management programs for maintenance scheduling and system assessments.
R&D of Jinan Transportation Brain began in May 2018, featuring a cloud service that provides the computer infrastructure and four hubs: the perception center, the analysis center, the decision-making center, and the evaluation center.
Over the past year, the DiDi smart transportation team completed the construction of IT infrastructure, a big data platform and an application support platform. Public transportation data resources and DiDi analytics are now connected. More new business applications are in the pipeline, ranging from applications such as road conditions monitoring, vehicle supervision, smart traffic signal control and smart traffic police dispatch.