Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xiaopeng on Thursday launched a ride-hailing service in southern China, as automakers look to the industry and market leader Didi accrues losses from its operations.
The move comes after the EV maker was granted a ride-hailing license by city authorities earlier this week.
Unlike Didi, Xiaopeng will employ all of the “trained, verified and monitored professional drivers” on its platform, the company said in a statement.
Xiaopeng is rolling out the service with an initial “several hundred” of its G3 SUVs, though it plans to increase its fleet size to 2,000 by the end of 2019.
“The Pengstar service will allow Xpeng Motors to gain important operational experience from a diversified range of driving scenarios, [and] deeper understanding of customer behavior and preference,” the company said.
Operating a ride-hailing fleet also gives the company access to additional training data that could be used to further develop its autonomous driving system.