UCAR upgrades service, will focus on driverless technology, car leasing

Updated 2017-12-13 11:03:19 Global Times

Domestic car-hailing company UCAR Inc on Tuesday announced plans for a strategic upgrading that involves the creation of a comprehensive car service platform.

The company celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, and President and CEO Lu Zhengyao told a meeting in Beijing that since its establishment, UCAR has pursued growth in sectors such as car-on-demand service, e-commerce and finance. These efforts have allowed the company to set up a complete vehicle ecosystem.

"Changes in consumption and advances in technology are driving the company to forge an upgraded car and life service platform that will give more Chinese consumers access to car services," Lu said.

The company aims to be the largest car-sharing platform in China, and it will offer tailored car-leasing services with various models such as Tesla, he said.

He remarked that car-sharing services represent a way for more people to achieve "life with a car."

Industry insiders said that UCAR's upgrading will maximize the value of the platform, which has a large user base and plentiful physical industry resources.

UCAR will keep close watch on technological advances such as artificial intelligence (AI), especially autonomous driving, Lu said. He added that driverless technology is continually improving and will mature in the next 10 to 15 years.

The new car platform will help UCAR accumulate comprehensive, accurate big data related to vehicles and users, which will help lay the foundation for a driverless operation platform, Lu said.

The company will put more focus on driverless technology through independent research and development, investment and cooperation.

UCAR's focus on AI technology will allow the company to raise its profile in the increasingly competitive domestic car-hailing services sector, said Feng Shiming, a car analyst with Menutor Consulting.

In the car-on-demand sector in 2017, Didi Chuxing accounted for 92.5 percent of the domestic market, followed by Yongche Inc, UCAR and other providers with 4.3 percent, 3.1 percent and 0.1 percent shares, respectively, chyxx.com reported on November 21, citing data released by Beijing-based market research firm Intelligent Research Group.

Autonomous driving technology has enjoyed increasing popularity in the smart transportation sector, but putting the technology into actual use still requires experience and time, Feng told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Data safety is an important element that car-service providers should focus on if they hope to master such technology, Feng noted.

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