VW and Didi talk for autonomy

Reuters reports that Volkswagen has considered forming a partnership with Didi Chuxing in China.

The joint venture would allow VW to manage aspects of Didi’s ride-hailing fleet of cars and to help develop its ‘purpose built’ vehicles.

Included as part of the agreement, VW will originally manage a fleet, for Didi, of around 100,000 vehicles. Also, VW will buy new cars jointly with Didi to help with its fleet expansion. Eventually, both companies will design and develop vehicles together.

The eventual goal is for the production and use of autonomous cars, a Volkswagen executive said. Didi told Reuters that it formed the coalition to cooperate on developing cars purpose-built for its services.

Didi has already stated its goal of making its future fleet electric. Already, it has begun working with GAC Motor and CHJ Automotive to develop EVs.

A spokesperson for Didi, who has remained anonymous, said both sides were still working out the details of how the partnership would look.

Volkswagen has stowed away $18.2bn, which it plans to use for investments in ride-hailing, autonomous driving, digitalization, and electric mobility in China by 2022.

‘We will explore additional business models with Didi,’ said VW executive. ‘We don’t need to have all the answers. The money we plan to put into the first phase should help us find some.’