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Rolls out world’s first AI-based hands-free driver app interface

International strategy and organization focused on localized solutions

BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”), the world’s leading multi-modal transportation platform, today announced a round of major product upgrades across its fast-growing international markets in Australia, Japan and Latin America, including the industry’s first hands-free driver app interface pilot, new safety features and financial tools for drivers and passengers.

The new initiative is led by DiDi’s International Business Technology (IBT) team, created in March 2018 as a dedicated engineering and product team for DiDi’s international business. Zheng BU, Vice President and Chief Security Office of DiDi who heads the IBT operations, said the new features focus on enhancing platform safety, efficiency and the user experience at the annual RISE conference in Hong Kong.

“We are seeing tremendous innovation in our international markets, which shows the importance of developing localized solutions for local challenges with global technology support,” said Zheng. “DiDi has never taken a cookie-cutter approach. Listen and learn, localize and work closely with the communities and policymakers, this is our philosophy for internationalization.” Zheng said.

Overview of Some Key Product Upgrades

Hands-Free Driver App Interface Pilot

Mobile phone use is a leading cause of distracted driving. Working with DiDi’s Japan and Australia teams, scientists at DiDi’s AI Labs developed a hands-free app interface that enables drivers to complete passenger pick-up and route navigation using only voice commands, without the need to touch or focus on their mobile device.

Jieping YE, Head of DiDi AI Labs, said, “We are excited to see the benefits of artificial intelligence come to life to solve concrete safety challenges, without compromising the effectiveness of the platform and ability to serve our users.”

As an industry pioneer, DiDi today launched this feature in Japan, and plans to roll it out in other markets including Australia this year.

New Driver Safety and Experience Initiatives

Violence against drivers, particularly female drivers, is a major challenge in the transportation industry. In addition to its existing rigorous driver vetting and verification processes, DiDi’s product team in Latin America continues to develop new safety features and roll out education campaigns aimed at protecting drivers, which include:

  • Safety Transparency

DiDi introduced a new feature that enables two-way transparency between drivers and passengers. In addition to passengers being able to view information about their driver, drivers are now able to view passenger information, such as their ratings and rider frequency. This heightened level of transparency helps drivers make better safety decisions, rewards upstanding passengers, and helps foster a safer and more trustful mobility community.

  • Cashless Payment and E-Wallet Options

In the interest of safety and convenience, DiDi introduced two localized, cashless financial solutions for the large number of unbanked drivers and passengers in Latin America.

In partnership with financial institutions, the DiDi Card and 99 Card are new debit card programs that enable drivers to receive income, withdraw cash on a daily basis and make purchases from a wide range of local stores.

DiDi Cash is an e-wallet that allows riders to top-up the balance of their DiDi account through a partnership with local convenience stores. Users will also be able to use the e-wallet for other uses, such as paying for mobile phone.

About Didi Chuxing

Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”) is the world’s leading mobile transportation platform. The company offers a full range of app-based transportation options for 550 million users, including Taxi, Express, Premier, Luxe, Bus, Designated Driving, Enterprise Solutions, Bike Sharing, E-bike Sharing, Car Rental and Sharing and food delivery. Tens of millions of drivers who find flexible work opportunities on the DiDi platform provide 10 billion passenger trips a year.

DiDi is committed to collaborating with policymakers, the taxi industry and communities to solve the world’s transportation, environmental and employment challenges with smart transportation innovations. The company is working with a growing alliance of car industry players to build out a next-generation auto-solutions and operations platform.

DiDi partners with Grab, Lyft, Ola, 99 and Bolt (Taxify) in a global ride-hailing network that reaches over 80% of the world’s population across over 1,000 cities. Currently, DiDi provides ride-hailing services in Brazil under the 99 brand, operates DiDi-branded mobility services in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Australia, and provides taxi-hailing service in Japan through a joint venture. By continuously improving user experience and creating social value, DiDi strives to build a safe, open and sustainable mobile transportation ecosystem.

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