Didi Chuxing

Expert Voices

The ride-hailing challenges autonomy can't solve

gray van with Uber and Lyft stickers on the window
A ride-hailing vehicle in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ride-hailing companies like Uber, Lyft and China's Didi have dominated the emerging mobility market and are now investing in autonomous technology, which Goldman Sachs projects would accelerate growth and increase profitability by eliminating driver subsidies.

The big picture: Even with AV fleets, however, ride-hailing companies may struggle to improve their bottom lines without addressing other inefficiencies in their business model. The time ride-hailing vehicles spend empty (traveling 2.8 miles for every mile in service) only exacerbates the role they have played in slowing city traffic, by up to 20% in New York and 51% in San Francisco.

China's biggest ride-hailing company to deepen focus on EVs

logo of Didi Chuxing displayed on a building in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province
Logo of Didi Chuxing. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

China's largest ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing announced Monday that it will form a joint venture with automotive giant BAIC to deepen its focus on electric vehicles, TechCrunch and others report.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest auto market and already has the largest number of EVs, too.