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2021 Didi D1 detailed: World's first electric car custom-built for ridesharing charges up

The DiDi D1 was co-developed with the world’s largest EV manufacturer, BYD.

If you’ve ever jumped into a rideshare vehicle and wished the whole experience was a little more coordinated (almost like a taxi) and environmentally friendly, one service provider, DiDi, now has the solution: a dedicated all-electric vehicle called D1.

According to DiDi, “compared to traditional car models designed for owner-drivers, D1 builds its main differentiating advantages on extra safety, operational efficiency and passenger/driver experience”.

Set to launch in Changsha in December as part of a pilot trial before expanding to other Chinese cities, the D1 separates itself from everyday vehicles used for ridesharing with colour-code lights and sliding side doors for quick and safe pickups and drop-offs.

Inside, passengers are prioritised, given extra space and greater control of the vehicle’s climate and multimedia systems, while the driver is treated to an ergonomic seat for extended city driving as well as a cockpit that’s makes their role easier to perform.

In fact, the DiDi Smart Driver system interacts with the driver via the dashboard, steering wheel and onboard voice assistant to complete verification (by way of facial recognition) and payment, among other steps in the ridesharing journey.

The DiDi Smart Driver system interacts with the driver via the dashboard, steering wheel and onboard voice assistant. The DiDi Smart Driver system interacts with the driver via the dashboard, steering wheel and onboard voice assistant.

Advanced driver-assist systems in the D1 include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and driver attention alert plus others. While there’s no word on its driving range, its claimed energy efficiency is 12.8kWh/100km.

And in case you were wondering how the D1 came to fruition, it was co-developed with the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, BYD, but time will tell if it expands outside of the domestic market.