Didi Chuxing (DiDi) unveiled D1, the world’s first electric vehicle custom-built for ride-hailing. Co-developed with BYD Company Limited (BYD), the D1 cars will start rolling out to DiDi’s leasing partners in major Chinese cities in the coming months.

D1 is DiDi’s first step to build customized ride-hailing vehicles by leveraging its expertise and data insights from its user base of over 550 million registered passengers and 31 million drivers. To ensure a reliable and more cost-effective supply for its drivers’ network that today delivers as many as 60 million trips per day, DiDi China has been building a deeper automotive ecosystem for its core mobility service by establishing an extensive alliance with manufacturers, energy providers and other industry players in the value chain. 

DiDi’s auto alliance, pivoted on DiDi’s Xiaoju Automobile Solutions, includes members such as BYD, FAW, BAIC, GAW, Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and other leading carmakers. Forms of collaboration range from trading and leasing, operation of fleets, maintenance and service, to energy supply and co-design of vehicles. 

Dubbed the “DiDi Smart Driver”, D1 carries an all-in-one driver assistance system that interacts with the human driver through a dashboard pad, an on-board voice assistant and the smart steering wheel. The Smart Driver integrates the full ride-hailing service flow from driver verification, pickup and drop-off, to payment and customer service. Its energy management function offers real-time recharging and maintenance support.

The Smart Driver is linked with a fleet management system that helps larger operators track and optimize operational status. DiDi works with over 3,000 leasing and fleet partners to secure quality drivers and provide leased cars, energy services and financial/insurance support to them.