Heute mal wieder eine Pflichtlektüre für Automobilisten: schaut Euch mal das Geschäftsmodell von Didi Chuxing an und warum es den Kampf in China gegen Uber gewonnen hat!
Jean Liu has a vision. Not far in the future, the president of Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest ride-sharing service, imagines calling a car to her Beijing home. “I probably don’t even need to use this,” she says, holding up her smartphone. “Now it’s just some cool audio app that allows me to just say: “I need to go. Right now.”
A vehicle will arrive a minute later. She need not specify what kind of car: Didi’s artificial intelligence engine will have guessed the type she wants. The system often offers to send a ride even before she asks, having figured out where she will be going. Sometimes the driver will be human. More typically, it will be a machine.
The car will glide off through free-flowing streets. “There’s no traffic lights,” Liu explains. “The AI is already integrated.” There will be no car parks either: the vehicles, which are all electric, take themselves off quietly to storage facilities outside the sixth ring-road when not needed. Beijing itself, freed of the need to provide parking for six million cars, will be newly pleasant. “We’re surrounded by nice parks,” she says. “And when you get to your place, you don’t even need to bother to park. You just very gracefully get out.”
Scenarios like this seem fantastical next to China’s present mess of gridlocked expressways and dark, polluted skies. Yet, sitting in Didi’s Beijing headquarters one chilly day last December, Liu is optimistic that it can become real, as she lays out her ambitions to transform her company into a global tech and transport giant.