Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing giant that acquired Uber's local business last year, has opened a research center in Silicon Valley, the company said on Wednesday.

Focused on artificial intelligence, security, and autonomous driving, the office will be in Mountain View—Google's hometown—and it has hired Charlie Miller, the famed car hacker who left Uber last week. Didi Chuxing VP of Research Institute Dr. Fengmin Gong will lead the lab.

Joining the race: Despite being one of the biggest ride-hailing companies in the world, Didi seems to be joining the race to build self-driving cars a bit later than everyone else, though it's impossible to know how long it's been working on this tech behind closed doors. On Wednesday, it also announced it's co-hosting a competition with online learning company Udacity, which offers education on self-driving car technology, and the winners will get to work with Didi.

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Dave Lawler, author of World
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Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

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