The XC90 cars will be integrated with the DiDi Gemini self-driving hardware platform

Volvo XC90 integrated with DiDi Gemini_1

A Volvo XC90 car integrated with DiDi Autonomous Driving’s DiDi Gemini driving hardware platform. (Credit: Beijing Xiaoju Technology Co, Ltd.)

Volvo Cars has agreed to provide cars to Didi Chuxing’s self-driving technology arm DiDi Autonomous Driving for the latter’s self-driving test fleet.

As part of the partnership, Volvo Cars will provide the Chinese mobile transportation company with XC90 cars. The cars will be equipped with the required backup systems for functions like steering and braking.

The Swedish carmaker will collaborate with DiDi Autonomous Driving for integrating the additional software and hardware needed for making the cars completely ready for autonomous drive.

According to Volvo Cars, the XC90 cars will be integrated with DiDi Gemini, which is the new self-driving hardware platform of DiDi Autonomous Driving.

Based on Didi Chuxing’s database of ride-hailing data and real-world road test data, DiDi Gemini incorporates key hardware upgrades, which include enhanced sensors, 700TOPS computing power, and ASIL-D rated fallback system.

Volvo Cars said that the XC90s’ built-in backup systems and safety features combined with the advanced self-driving system of DiDi Autonomous Driving will eventually enable the cars to run without safety drivers in robotaxi services.

Didi Chuxing has been looking to grow its autonomous test fleets in China and the US, while scaling up its commercial robotaxi operations.

Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said: “This strategic collaboration with DiDi Autonomous Driving is further validation of our ambition to be the partner of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.

“Combining DiDi’s expanding robotaxi programme with our safe cars creates a great match to build trust among consumers for autonomous ride-hailing.”

Last year, Volvo Cars supplied its XC60 cars to the Chinese mobile transportation company for using them in the first pilot robotaxi programme to have been held in Shanghai.

DiDi Autonomous Driving CEO and Didi Chuxing CTO Bob Zhang said: “In expanding partnerships with global automotive industry leaders, we believe shared, electric and autonomous vehicle networks will be crucial for future urban transport systems to achieve the highest safety and sustainability standards.

“DiDi Gemini, our new self-driving hardware platform incorporates critical hardware improvements from our test passenger service operations in Shanghai. With Volvo Cars’ leadership in safety, we look forward to achieving new milestones towards future autonomous transport services.”

Recently, Volvo Autonomous Solutions announced a partnership with US-based self-driving company Aurora for jointly developing on-highway autonomous trucks.