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Didi unveils first custom-built EV for ride-hailing service

Ramy From Gasgoo| November 17 , 2020

Beijing (Gasgoo)- On November 11, Didi Chuxing (DiDi) unveiled the D1, its first electric vehicle custom-built for ride-hailing service. The company aims to build customized ride-hailing vehicles, with the D1 as the first, by leveraging its expertise and data insights from its user base of over 550 million registered passengers and 31 million drivers. Developed jointly with BYD, the new model is set to be launched under a pilot program in Changsha in December and will be introduced to other cities across the country.  

didi BYD D1, China automotive news

D1; photo credit: Didi Chuxing

The D1 has a color distinct from most vehicles on the road and the color-coded lights and sliding-door can facilitate fast and safe pickup and drop-off. It can meet different demands from drivers and passengers. For drivers, the model offers customized seat to alleviate drivers’ fatigue. Via an on-board screen, the vehicle can be linked with the platform, and drivers can take orders simply by pressing a button on the steering wheel, rather than using mobile phones. And passengers can make adjustment in temperature and seat heating remotely via APP before they get on the vehicle.

For safety, the D1 is equipped with many features, including Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Pedestrian Collision Warning (PCW). And also the new model will come with many DiDi’s ride-hailing safety innovations, such as a Driver Monitoring System (DMS), a steering wheel with safety alerts and response functions, and an AI voice and video monitoring and analysis system that uses DiDi’s facial and object recognition technology.

didi BYD D1, China automotive news

Besides, the D1 has an all-in-one driver assistance system, called the “DiDi Smart Driver”, which can interact with the driver via a dashboard pad, an on-board voice assistant and the smart steering wheel. The Smart Driver integrates the full ride-hailing service flow from driver verification, pickup and drop-off, to payment and customer service. The Smart Driver is linked with a fleet management system that helps larger operators track and optimize operational status.

Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, said that the fee will be charged by kilometers, which is a sort of industrial upgrade. The company is not only launching a new vehicle, but also introducing a new mode and new direction, which it expects will bring new changes to the overall mobility market.

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