Stories by Michael Dunne

Expert Voices

Didi seeks competitive edge with faster rollout of driverless pickup

Illustration of a hand holding a cellphone with the Didi Chuxing ap hailing a small fleet of cars, all in the shape of the Chinese flag
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Didi Chuxing, China's colossal ride-sharing company, is rolling out a self-driving pickup service on Chinese streets in the next few weeks — a gamble that could give the company an important edge in the global market.

Why it matters: The first company to put large numbers of self-driving cars on the road stands to gain two important advantages: reduced operating costs and real-world driving data for its algorithms, which will improve its autonomous driving systems.

Expert Voices

China races for global leadership in AVs

Illustration of a car with stars instead of headlights
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As part of the Made in China 2025 strategic initiative, China wants supremacy in key future technologies, including electric cars and autonomous vehicles.

The big picture: Waymo and other U.S. firms like Cruise and Zoox are far ahead in developing the technologies. But China could become the autonomous leader by 2025 because regulators there can pave the way for mass adoption of autonomous cars more quickly than their American counterparts.