Didi Chuxing, a Chinese-based ride-hailing company, is going to spin-off their autonomous vehicle unit.
Recently the company announced that its autonomous driving unit will become a standalone company, a move designed to bring greater focus to research, product design, and the search for business use cases.
“Autonomous driving will greatly enhance the safety and efficiency of travel and help cities to be smarter and more sustainable,” said Didi Chair and CEO Cheng Wei in a statement. “Technology serves people; in the future, people’s transportation needs in different scenarios will be met by the combination of seamless autonomous driving technology and human driving services that are indispensable for their quality and warmth.”
The move comes amid a broader rethinking of overly optimistic predictions for autonomous vehicles that cropped up as companies like Uber and Google poured money into research. Observers and automotive executives have begun throwing cold water on the rosiest predictions, cautioning that the technology has a long road ahead before it will be truly reliable.
One such reality check came in July, when Volkswagon said it would invest $1 billion in cash and give its European self-driving unit to Ford-backed self-driving vehicle startup Argo. The deal was seen as an acknowledgment that the companies would need to share development costs, given the extended timeline the technology faces.
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