Didi Autonomous Driving is to complete a USD 300 million new round of financing, with USD 200 million from the Guangzhou Automobile Group and its capital investment arm. Since Didi’s autonomous driving unit split from Didi Chuxing back in 2019, the company has raised a total of more than USD 1.1 billion. A person familiar with the matter said that after this round of financing, Didi’s self-driving valuation will exceed startup Pony.ai.
Earlier this month, Didi Autonomous Driving had announced a partnership with GAC Aion New Energy Vehicles in the field of smart cars. The partnership seeks to combine Didi’s self-driving software and hardware R&D advantages with GAC’s vehicle platform, design, and manufacturing capabilities, to develop driverless new energy vehicles that can be put into large-scale production.
In addition to GAC, Didi’s cooperation list also includes Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC), one of China’s principal state-owned automobile and machine manufacturers. The two parties announced their cooperation a year ago, to jointly develop high-level self-driving customized models dedicated for robotaxis.
Didi Autonomous Driving team first formed in 2016, giving birth to a spinoff company in August 2019. The company is committed to building the world’s leading L4 conditional autonomous driving technology and has obtained an open road test license for autonomous driving in Beijing, Shanghai amongst others. In addition, on April 8, 2021, the company released the world’s first autonomous driving video for 5 consecutive hours without human take over.