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Chinese ride-hailing giant opens Silicon Valley research center

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.