The payment confirmation page is displayed on the Didi Chuxing application in this arranged photograph taken in Shanghai, China. (Photo : Getty Images)
Didi Chuxing, the Uber rival of China, officially opens its U.S.-based research lab in an attempt to suck up talent beyond its current catchment in China. This lab will particularly focus on talents for areas on Artificial Intelligence and self-driving vehicles.
Didi Chuxing hired two distinguished security experts last Sept. 2016, Dr. Fengmin Gong and Zheng Bu, to lead the planned U.S.-based research center as part of a major push to increase its data security efforts.
Dr. Fengmin Gong, whose 30-year work history includes starting Palo Alto networks, will lead the facility in Mountain View. He is now Didi’s vice president of information security strategy and vice president of Didi's new U.S.-based Didi Research Institute.
Gong stated before: “The Didi platform and service it provides and a number of people and partners in touches present probably the most sophisticated customer use case. Bu and I have been working in security for the traditional enterprise, that represents a good blend of enterprise and the new-age Internet-based sharing economy. Plus we were very impressed by Didi’s ambition and ability to execute."
He will be working with a team of leading data scientists and researchers, which include Charlie Miller, a former Uber researcher.
Miller went popular after he hacked a journalist's vehicle from a laptop 10 miles away in a pre-arranged stunt in early 2015. Together with Chris Valasek, they made the radio, air conditioning, and windshield wipers go haywire to demonstrate the vulnerabilities within the automotive industry.
Miller stated in a tweet: "My job is to make sure the assisted driving and autonomous systems developed and used by Didi are resistant to external attacks and threats."
Through a partnership with Udacity around self-driving car tech, Didi is looking to make an early impact in Silicon Valley. Didi and Udacity announced a joint contest, inviting teams to develop Automated Safety and Awareness Processing Stack, which will increase driving safety for both manual and self-driving vehicles.
Five finalists chosen in the contest will get a shot at winning $100,000, and the opportunity to work more closely with both companies on automotive projects.