Volvo is partnering with DiDi Chuxing’s Autonomous Driving division to build a fleet of self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Monday. 

DiDi, a Chinese Uber competitor with more than 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers, is providing its self-driving hardware platform called Gemini, which will be deployed into Volvo’s XC90 SUVs. 

The companies expect for these vehicles to eventually be driverless robotaxis. 

“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,” Bob Zhang, CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving and CTO of DiDi Chuxing, said in a statement. 

Volvo already provided its smaller, XC60 SUVs for DiDi’s robotaxi pilot program in Shanghai in 2020. The fleet operated in certain areas of Shanghai, with the vehicles driving themselves, but with a safety driver in the driver’s seat. 

Volvo partners with China's DiDi Chuxing to build fleet of self-driving cars

Image: volvo

Volvo also provided its XC90s to Uber in 2019 for its self-driving car pilot program, though Uber gave up on in-house self-driving vehicle development after a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman in Arizona. 

There’s no word on the technical capabilities of DiDi/Volvo’s new self-driving cars, and the companies didn’t share a date on when the new program might become available to users. 

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