China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing on Thursday offered a deposit-free service for its shared vehicles in the cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang Province.
The two cities are chosen to run the pilot program of Didi's shared vehicle service. More than 1,500 such vehicles have been put on the streets in the two cities. The vehicles can be picked up in one city and dropped off in the other -- 157 km apart from each other.
In April 2018, Didi signed a partnership with 31 auto industry firms to build an integrated car operator platform. Key areas of cooperation included auto sales and leasing, finance, fleet operation and car-sharing, as well as co-development of vehicles and industry standards.
Cheng Wei, Didi founder and CEO, said the alliance aimed to embrace the upcoming transportation revolution as the future auto industry would be driven by coordinated advances in new energy vehicles, intelligent driving technologies and shared mobility modes.
In Hangzhou and Ningbo, Didi has set up 450 car locations near shopping malls, public buildings and railway terminals to give convenient access to users.
Users can select a shared vehicle by registering with an ID and driving license information and making facial recognition.
Drivers on erroneous behavior such as panic stopping and poor parking will be alerted. In case of traffic violations while using the shared vehicles, Didi's platform can send messages to user cell phones. Users should deal with traffic violations themselves.
Didi said its previous customers could apply to refund their deposits for car sharing, starting Thursday.
Didi now provides up to 30 million daily rides for passengers. It plans to have 10 million electric vehicles on its platform by 2028.