A few months ago we reported that China’s Uber rival Didi Chuxing was looking at the Silicon Valley to build its self-driving car project. Now the Chinese behemoth has officially opened its US based research lab. The new research and development center is named DiDi labs and is located in Mountain View, California. It will be mainly used for scientists and engineers of Didi to look into the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in security and intelligent driving technologies.
The new DiDi labs is all about intelligent driving technologies
Didi’s plan to look into intelligent driving technologies follows the industry trend that can be evidently seen. As more and more players in the automobile industry are researching on and testing autonomous vehicles Didi seems to be not so far behind with this new facility. The lab is going to be led by Dr. Fengmin Gong and Zheng Bu, along with his team of “dozens of leading data scientists and researchers.”
"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." said Cheng Wei, founder, chairman and CEO of Didi Chuxing in a press statement.
The new lab is going to also look at cloud-based security, human-machine interaction, computer vision and imaging and deep learning. One famous name in the leading researchers that are in the team of DiDi labs is that of Charlie Miller who is a former Uber researcher. Miller gained fame after he demonstrated that he could easily hack a journalist’s vehicles from 10 miles away using a laptop. Miller tweeted out his role at DiDi labs and it seems that he’ll be handling pretty much the same things he did over at his previous job
My job is to make sure the assisted driving and autonomous systems developed and used by Didi are resistant to external attacks and threats.
— Charlie Miller (@0xcharlie) March 8, 2017
Didi wants to make a swift breakthrough in the Silicon Valley that is why they have partnered with Udacity. The two companies have together announced a joint contest for teams to develop an Automated Safety and Awareness Processing Stack (ASAPS). The purpose of which would be to increase driving safety for both manual and self-driving vehicles. Five finalists will be chosen who will compete for a $100,000 prize and a chance to work much more closely with the two companies on automotive projects.
Didi is leaving its mark on the North America market, even though this facility does not really show intention of the company to expand into the market it could very well challenge Uber by poaching more of its people. We will let you know if anything else comes up regarding this facility, till then let us know what you feel about this move in the comments below.