Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi opens self-driving car lab in California

Updated 2017-03-09 13:53:27

Apple-backed Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi on Wednesday opened an artificial intelligence lab near Apple in Mountain View, California, where the firm plans to develop intelligent driving systems and AI-based transportation security.

Last year, Apple invested billion in the Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, which in turn secured Apple a seat on the company's board.

It is the first time Didi Chuxing, China's leading ride-hailing app service, has expanded its physical presence outside of China.

Planning to advance their self-driving car ambitions in the U.S., they are attracting local talent.

Didi has hired Uber's Charlie Miller, famous for his computer hacking abilities, to head up their safety and security work on self-driving cars.

Further, Didi has hired Jia Zhaoyin, formerly a senior software engineer at Waymo, Google's self-driving company.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook said in an interview, "We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market," continuing, "Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well."

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