Didi Chuxing (DiDi), the world’s leading mobile transportation and local services platform, today unveiled D1, the world’s first electric vehicle custom-built for ride-hailing. Co-developed with BYD Company Limited (BYD), the world’s largest EV manufacturer, the D1 cars will start rolling out to DiDi’s leasing partners in major Chinese cities in the coming months.
China is the world’s largest and hence one of the most under-supplied transportation markets. Shared mobility accounts for less than 3% of the total addressable mobility needs, and DiDi aims to raise the penetration rate to 8% by 2022.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, shared his vision for DiDi’s mobility blueprint for the next 10 years. He said: “Shared intelligent mobility is the optimum solution for the future of transportation. With the continued development of autonomous driving and AI technology, people will be able to enjoy a better travel experience through shared mobility.”
D1 is DiDi’s first step to build customized ride-hailing vehicles by leveraging its expertise and data insights from its user base of over 550 million registered passengers and 31 million drivers. To ensure a reliable and more cost-effective supply for its drivers’ network that today delivers as many as 60 million trips per day, DiDi China has been building a deeper automotive ecosystem for its core mobility service by establishing an extensive alliance with manufacturers, energy providers and other industry players in the value chain.
Jean Liu, President of DiDi, added: “During the process of countless product upgrades, we realized that we were not satisfied with the progress we made on improving user experience. Therefore, we decided to focus our efforts on the vehicle itself. As an industry first, DiDi has integrated the needs of hundreds of millions of users into the design of D1 by leveraging our data analytics and user feedback. Our product design team analyzed almost 10 million advice and feedback, alongside survey results from over 10,000 drivers and passengers, as well as tens of workshops. There are many impressive stories to tell.”
Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”) is the world’s leading mobile transportation and local services platform. The company offers a full range of app-based transportation and life services for over 550 million users across Asia Pacific, Latin America and Russia, including Taxi, Express, Premier, Luxe, Bus, Designated Driving, Enterprise Solutions, Bike Sharing, E-bike Sharing, Automobile Solutions, Food Delivery and Payment. Tens of millions of driver and delivery partners who find flexible work opportunities on DiDi platform provide over 10 billion passenger trips a year.
DiDi is committed to collaborating with policymakers, the taxi industry, the automobile industry and communities to solve the world’s transportation, environmental and employment challenges with localized smart transportation innovations by leveraging its AI capabilities. By continuously improving user experience and creating social value, DiDi strives to build a safe, inclusive and sustainable mobile transportation and local services ecosystem for cities of the future.
BYD is a high-tech company devoted to technological innovations for a better life. BYD was founded in February 1995, and after more than 20 years of fast growth, the company has established over 30 industrial parks worldwide and has played a significant role in industries related to electronics, automobiles, new energy and rail transit. From energy generation and storage to its applications, BYD is dedicated to providing zero-emission energy solutions. BYD is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, with revenue and market capitalization each exceeding RMB 100 billion.
Ride hailing companies need another step to grow more
Ride hailing companies face fierce competitions all over the world. In the US, the ride hailing pioneer, Uber, faces tough competition against Lyft, and in ASEAN region, there are two biggest ride haling giants, Grab and Gojek. In capitalism market, many companies are required to grow more and more, so how can ride hailing companies grow? One way is to increase the number of passengers to use the services. Another way is to increase the frequency how often passengers use the services and the amount passengers pay the service per use. Therefore, ride hailing companies think how to increase customers, frequencies and amounts. These things reasonably come from better customer experience. For instance, if passengers feel comfortable when they use the ride hailing services, they will want to use them more and more. Also, the might be consented to pay more for the premium services. Word of mouth is a big factor to increase the number of passengers to use the services so that the better customer experience the companies offer, the more word of mouth will be expected. As a result, the increase of passengers will be also expected. In this reasoning, we can see better customer experience is the very base of the success in the ride hailing companies. Thus, the collaboration between Didi Chuxing and BYD in order to improve customer experience is plausible.
Let us try to take a deep dive into this collaboration. From BYD’s perspective, the company wants to manufacture better Electric Vehicles to be sold more. To realize this objective, customer insights will be one of the key success factors. However, it had been difficult for hardware manufacturing companies to gather customer insights after their sales because until recently they had just sold their products. On the other hand, ride hailing companies are able to gather customers’ data more since their services are always connected to not only passengers but also riders. Therefore, thanks to the partnership with Didi, BYD can design and develop better Electric vehicle. From Didi’s perspective, the company really knows the fact that the excellence of its hardware as well as software is necessary to improve customer experience so that this collaboration seems the vital step.