Volvo has been recognized for its dedication to safety for decades, and it is now going full steam ahead with self-driving technology but in the safest possible manner. The automaker has announced a partnership with China’s DiDi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology subsidiary of DiDi Chuxing, which recently purchased Uber China.
Several Volvo XC90s are being outfitted with the requisite software and hardware in order to join DiDi’s self-driving fleet. Backup steering and braking systems, as well as other related applications, are being incorporated into DiDi’s already-existing testing network. The XC90s will be the first vehicles to feature DiDi’s new self-driving hardware platform.
It will finally be deployed to the company’s ride-hailing infrastructure if everything goes well. The SUV already has a number of backup systems and safety features, and when combined with DiDi’s advanced technology, it will be able to function as a robotaxis without the use of human safety drivers. Last year, Volvo provided DiDi with XC60s for use in Shanghai’s first robotaxi pilot program, which kicked off this partnership. Things seem to have gone well enough for this relationship to be expanded.
“This strategic collaboration with DiDi Autonomous Driving is further validation of our ambition to be the partner of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies,” said Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars.
“Combining DiDi’s expanding robotaxi program with our safe cars creates a great match to build trust among consumers for autonomous ride-hailing.”
Volvo is clearly not the only big automaker working on self-driving technology, but thanks to real-world trials, it is now among the market leaders. In several nations, dedicated autonomous driving companies such as Waymo and Cruise are performing automated research on public roads. Tesla is still testing the FSD system, but it’s more of an advanced Level 2 Autopilot than full-fledged Level 5 self-driving, which doesn’t need a person behind the wheel.
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