GAC reportedly invests in ride-hailing giant Didi's self-driving business
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing's self-driving business is close to finalizing a new round of funding of more than $300 million, with GAC Group investing $200 million, LatePost reported Monday.
GAC will invest $100 million directly and GAC Capital's fund will invest $100 million, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter, adding that the valuation of Didi's self-driving business will exceed that of Pony.ai after the latest investment.
As of February 2021, Pony.ai had raised more than $1.1 billion in total funding and was valued at more than $5.3 billion.
Didi's move means it's taking a different route than its US counterparts Uber and Lyft, which sold their self-driving businesses in the past six months, saying it's the better option.
Didi began self-driving research and development in 2016. In August 2019, Didi upgraded its self-driving division to an independent company.
Notably, GAC Aion, GAC's new energy vehicle brand, announced a strategic partnership with Didi's autonomous driving division on May 17 to jointly build driverless new energy vehicles.
The two sides will explore joint ventures and cooperation models in the field of intelligent vehicles, using GAC Aion's self-driving vehicle platform and vehicle design and manufacturing capabilities with Didi's self-driving software and hardware technology development advantages, according to a statement.
The two will work together to develop a new driverless new energy model that can be put into scale application from the basic dimensions of wire-controlled chassis, autonomous driving sensors and system integration, and push ahead with mass production at full speed, the statement said.
"The development of driverless technology will drive the full arrival of the shared mobility era. GAC Aion's cooperation with Didi ...... has important industrial significance and broad market prospects," Gu Huinan, general manager of GAC Aion said.