Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing company, said the advent of 5G technology would potentially allow for advertising and other related services for its mobile users, according to a report by Reuters.
The technology is expected to increase the speeds of both streaming and web-based products, and it would have the potential to broaden the company’s business and allow for new sources of revenue. The company has so far been concentrating on its core business, and expanding to countries like Costa Rica and Japan.
When asked why he hasn’t focused on advertising before, Didi President Jean Liu said, “It’s not our current focus yet. However, when 5G comes, when the experience inside the car can be significantly improved, we think we can have better content.”
The technology holds promise and possibility for the company, who could let passengers do things like karaoke or watch soap operas while in a vehicle.
“We have a lot of good content in China, but to make it happen inside a car requires better technology,” Liu said.
China is focused on getting out 5G technology as soon as possible, and it has made infrastructure inroads to do so, with a slew of telecom companies introducing 5G plans this month. The country wants to install upwards of 50,000 5G stations throughout 50 Chinese cities through the end of 2019. In addition to increased connection speeds, the technology is expected to be instrumental in services like self-driving cars.
Didi has said that it plans to use autonomous vehicles in Shanghai with plans to continue to adopt the technology toward 2021. Didi said that the U.S. was a “very crowded” market, when asked if it was going to expand there.
Earlier this month, Didi expanded on its autonomous vehicle plans.
“We are going to launch a robo-taxi service in Shanghai very soon,” Tiger Qie, vice president and chief technology officer of Didi’s ride-sharing unit, said onstage at CNBC’s East Tech West event in Guangzhou, China. “The users can just hail self-driving vehicles through the Didi app.”
Qie said that having an autonomous fleet would help Didi meet the increasing demands for its ride-hailing services. It currently fills just 65 percent of requests. The robo-taxi addition would be a complement to its service, not a replacement.