DiDi, a world-leading mobile transportation platform, has introduced the world’s first AI-based hands-free rideshare technology to Australia, allowing its rideshare drivers to accept trip requests through voice commands. The introduction of the ‘Hands-Free’ feature is part of a wider product upgrade, which is the result of joint efforts from DiDi Australia, DiDi international business group’s tech team and DiDi AI Labs based in the U.S. and China.
In direct response to the state governments’ restriction of mobile phone use while driving and local drivers’ feedback, the Hands-Free feature is simple and safe to operate. When a trip request appears, drivers can say the command “Accept Trip” and, without touching their smart device, successfully match with a rider.
DiDi first offered this feature in Japan, closely followed by Australia, with a great focus on user safety in the region. DiDi has been working with its Australian engineers to introduce the feature to up to 1,000 selected drivers in Melbourne and will roll out the feature to all DiDi drivers across Australia later this year.
Ridesharing is a large part of Australia’s night-life culture. In order to ensure a safer night ride, DiDi launched a Night Mode feature powered by Google Maps on the DiDi Driver App. This feature changes the in-app colour scheme based on local sunrise and sunset times.
The app-based visual guidance feature helps riders seamlessly navigate through large buildings to reach a pick-up location. Starting with Melbourne Airport, DiDi will apply this feature to other areas, including shopping centres, train stations and stadiums.
Riders can also tap the Lost and Found button on the previous trip in the DiDi-Rider App, describe the missing item and leave contact details. DiDi will provide drivers’ virtual phone numbers to assist.
In keeping with Australia’s social use of rideshare, riders can add up to three stops during a trip and spilt fare when sharing rides with friends. The Split Fare feature will be coming soon.
DiDi always has its users’ safety as its main priority. Both drivers and riders are given access to a comprehensive safety toolkit including itinerary sharing, ‘Call 000’ for police assistance and adding Trusted Contact, as well as 24/7 customer service.
DiDi will launch PayPal in the platform as a new payment method, addressing the increasing needs for diversified payment options among Australian riders.
DiDi Australia General Manager, Mr Lyn Ma, said: “We appreciate the valuable feedback and insights from our users and local partners, which drive us constantly for product and experience enhancement over the past year in Australia. Our team is excited to offer the most recently developed technology to the local market. We believe the approach of listening, localising and collaborating with the communities will make us a preferred transportation platform for Australians.”
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