International Strategy and Organization Focused on Localized Solutions
Didi Chuxing (“DiDi”), the world’s leading multi-modal transportation platform, announced a round of major product upgrades across its fast-growing international markets in Australia, Japan and Latin America, including the industry’s first hands-free driver app interface pilot, new safety features and financial tools for drivers and passengers.
The new initiative is led by DiDi’s International Business Technology (IBT) team, created in March 2018 as a dedicated engineering and product team for DiDi’s international business. Zheng BU, Vice President and Chief Security Office of DiDi who heads the IBT operations, said the new features focus on enhancing platform safety, efficiency and the user experience at the annual RISE conference in Hong Kong.
“We are seeing tremendous innovation in our international markets, which shows the importance of developing localized solutions for local challenges with global technology support,” said Zheng. “DiDi has never taken a cookie-cutter approach. Listen and learn, localize and work closely with the communities and policymakers, this is our philosophy for internationalization.” Zheng said.
Overview of Some Key Product Upgrades
Hands-Free Driver App Interface Pilot
Mobile phone use is a leading cause of distracted driving. Working with DiDi’s Japan and Australia teams, scientists at DiDi’s AI Labs developed a hands-free app interface that enables drivers to complete passenger pick-up and route navigation using only voice commands, without the need to touch or focus on their mobile device.
Jieping YE, Head of DiDi AI Labs, said, “We are excited to see the benefits of artificial intelligence come to life to solve concrete safety challenges, without compromising the effectiveness of the platform and ability to serve our users.”
As an industry pioneer, DiDi today launched this feature in Japan, and plans to roll it out in other markets including Australia this year.
New Driver Safety and Experience Initiatives
Violence against drivers, particularly female drivers, is a major challenge in the transportation industry. In addition to its existing rigorous driver vetting and verification processes, DiDi’s product team in Latin America continues to develop new safety features and roll out education campaigns aimed at protecting drivers, which include:
- Safety Transparency
DiDi introduced a new feature that enables two-way transparency between drivers and passengers. In addition to passengers being able to view information about their driver, drivers are now able to view passenger information, such as their ratings and rider frequency. This heightened level of transparency helps drivers make better safety decisions, rewards upstanding passengers, and helps foster a safer and more trustful mobility community.
- Cashless Payment and E-Wallet Options
In the interest of safety and convenience, DiDi introduced two localized, cashless financial solutions for the large number of unbanked drivers and passengers in Latin America.
In partnership with financial institutions, the DiDi Card and 99 Card are new debit card programs that enable drivers to receive income, withdraw cash on a daily basis and make purchases from a wide range of local stores.
DiDi Cash is an e-wallet that allows riders to top-up the balance of their DiDi account through a partnership with local convenience stores. Users will also be able to use the e-wallet for other uses, such as paying for mobile phone.