China-based Didi Chuxing, the world's leading mobile transportation platform, launched DiDi Labs in Mountain View, California. The company will primarily focus on AI-based security and intelligent driving technologies.
Cheng Wei, founder, Chairman & CEO of Didi Chuxing, said, "Sweeping changes are taking place in the global transportation and automobile industries. As the world's leading mobility platform, DiDi has invested in five industry leaders around the world. Building on rich data and fast-evolving AI analytics, we will be working with cities and towns to build intelligent transportation ecosystems for the future."
"As we strive to bring better services to broader communities, DiDi's international vision now extends to building the best-in-class international research network, advancing the global transportation revolution by leveraging innovative resources. The launch of DiDi Labs is a landmark in creating this global nexus of innovation," Cheng said.
The company’s aim is to attract top engineering talents to advance transformation in the global transportation industry. DiDi Labs will be led by Dr. Fengmin Gong, Vice President of DiDi Research Institute. Dozens of leading data scientists and researchers have joined the team, including Charlie Miller, one of the world's foremost automobile security experts. Current projects span the areas of cloud-based security, deep learning, human-machine interaction, computer vision and imaging, as well as intelligent driving technologies.
Meanwhile, DiDi Labs said it will work in tandem with the broader DiDi research network to advance its global strategy, apply research findings to products and services, and help cities develop smart transportation infrastructure. DiDi expects to rapidly expand its US-based team of scientists and engineers over the course of the year.
Bob Zhang, DiDi's CTO, called for top minds in AI and intelligent driving research to join the company at the launch of the DiDi-Udacity Self-Driving Car Challenge at Udacity's Intersect conference in Mountain View today. The challenge is the world's first open-source self-driving competition in which player teams are invited to create an Automated Safety and Awareness Processing Stack (ASAPS) to improve general safety metrics for human and intelligent driving scenarios based on real data. Five finalist teams will have the opportunity to run their code on Udacity's self-driving cars, compete for a grand prize of USD 100,000, and work with DiDi's intelligent driving team.
"In the next decade, DiDi will play a leading role in innovation at three layers: optimization of transportation infrastructure, introduction of new energy vehicles and intelligent driving systems, and a shift in human-automotive relationship from ownership to shared access," Bob Zhang said. "DiDi calls for enterprising minds to join us to solve the world's transportation and environmental challenges."